In a previous post, I mentioned that I am a creature of habit. I am fully aware that this personality trait restrains both my professional and personal growth. Having frequently used personal computers and the internet in my adolescence, I am able to adapt to the ever-changing world of technology with relative ease. I am familiar with Web 2.0 and its potential in part because of coursework required for my undergraduate degree. I depend on Wikipedia frequently to quickly find information that otherwise would have taken an exponential amount of time longer to locate.However, I am very comfortable with Web 1.0. When I think of Web 2.0, unfortunately the first things that pop into my mind are blogs that friends of my youth kept about their life and the comments posted by readers of newspaper articles online. Neither of these are very powerful. The latter I frequently judge to be ignorant and often resort to personal attacks. Reading these comments angers me, so I try to avoid looking at them altogether.
In completing the exercise outlined in Thing 4, I quickly became intrigued by the very first blog on the list, dy/dan. Yet it was not the original post to which we were directed, “Why I Don’t Assign Homework,” that captured my attention. Instead, I read with great interest the post “Important Ratio #1.” I navigated to this particular post through a hyperlink embedded in that first post, an example of one of the benefits of blogs and Web 2.0. The topic of the post was in tune with what I have spent a significant amount of time thinking about this year: how to effectively integrate technology in my classroom in the form of activities aligned directly with state standards. Just as valuable as the blog post, however, were the comments that other teachers left regarding the topic. It was a professional conversation in which opposite viewpoints were expressed and yet all opinions were respected. It looked nothing like the conversations that follow online newspaper articles which so often disappoint me. With the large number of blogs kept by teachers and the larger number of teachers reading those blogs, I am beginning to recognize how a community of teachers with similar challenges or concerns can collaborate. I hope to explore this community further this summer when my jaw is wired shut and I consequently have plenty of free time on my hands.
As soon as I set up by RSS feed, dy/dan will be the first blog to which I subscribe.