March 28 2008 / by Venessa Posavec
Category: Education Year: 2008 Rating: 6
Academic institutions are usually slow to make changes, especially when it comes to integrating new methods of teaching. We keep talking about how the web will shape education, but school administrations don’t make it easy to take advantage of all the new tools out there. For instance, most schools block access to YouTube, leaving teachers no choice but to roll in the VCR cart every time they want to incorporate a video into a classroom presentation.
Luckily, there are a few sites out there that provide the platform for educators to upload and share media. Most notable is TeacherTube, an obvious YouTube copycat that’s been around for just over a year now. They boast over 15,000 user-generated videos to supplement K-12 education, many of them tutorials for projects or instructional videos. Teachers can upload material and collaborate with other educators around the world, and most schools have allowed access to the site.
It’s been a great way for teachers to generate new and interesting lesson plans, and it allows students to review a concept several times to make sure they understand it. It would also be a great platform for students to share information with each other from different schools or countries, and work on projects together. But, despite its popularity and benefits to both teachers and students, some schools are still wary of allowing video-sharing sites to be used at school.
How soon will it be before online tools will not only acceptable in the classroom, but a mandatory requirement for 21st century learning? Some aruge that using blogs, wikis, videos, and social networking doesn’t fit in with a curriculum, and the content doesn’t meet educational standards. But what about the process itself? Is it unimportant for students to learn how to collaborate in an online space, participate in social learning, and become content creators?
Please check out Steve Hardagon’s illuminating post Web 2.0 Is the Future of Education to get an idea of how the web and social media are changing the rules of education. He definitely gets the big picture, and brings it all nicely together to illustrate how the Internet has created a new medium for learning that must be utilized.
The world is speeding up, and educational systems need to allow students to develop the skills needed for lifelong learning, collaboration, and content production.