The following is a summary of the rationale as to why teachers should incorporate Web 2.0 tools into their curriculum programs.
ICT and the National Curriculum – A key dimension of the Australian Curriculum are the 7 general capabilities, one of which is ICT. The Melbourne Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) identified ICT as an area in which students need to be highly skilled. Therefore, a strong emphasis on ICT skill development and integration across all curriculum areas is required (ACARA, 2011).
Future work and life – for students to thrive in the 21st century in both the workforce and everyday life contexts it is advantageous for them to develop confidence, knowledge and the skills necessary to use ICT effectively, e.g. email, wordprocessing, information seeking/searching skills, design and layout of digital documents, using technology appropriately and copyright and privacy issues (ACARA, 2011; Combes, 2014).
Relevance and engagement – technology offers educators an effective student engagement tool that can help students see the relevance between what they are learning and the real world (Wanago, 2013; Berger & Trexler, 2010).
Pedagogical benefits – many ICT tools support and enable learner centred and interactive practices that support a constructivist theory for teaching and learning (Pegrum, 2010; Grennon-Brooks, 2004; Lee & McLoughlin, 2008; Hayes, 2007).
Interest and motivation –school students like the newest and coolest gadgets and their related technological applications. Often students are already using these in their daily lives, thus using technology to deliver and implement curriculum content provides interest and motivation by allowing students to relate to their learning in an observable and immediate way (Backes, 2012; Combes, 2014).
Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy of learning and collaboraton – the revised Bloom’s digital taxonomy is a tool for teachers representing the learning process in relation to new technologies and the 21st century learner. The model identifies collaboration as a separate skill essential for the 21st century learner. It is identified that Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, google documents and social networking sites enable collaboration and communication and therefore enhance teaching programs (Churches, 2009).
Access – Web 2.0 tools provide a learning environment both to teachers and students anywhere, anytime. Providing access to information for the learner has never been easier (Berger & Trexler, 2010; Backes, 2012).
Flexibility – differing learning styles can be accommodated with the use of Web 2.0 tools. Multimodal, active learning practices and sound effects are some variations in the way information is presented and created through the integration of ICT.
Assessment and creation of content – Web 2.0 tools allow students to collaborate to create content and therefore develop their knowledge. The creation process and sharing of content provides teachers an avenue for integrated assessment (Lee & McLoughlin, 2008).
Literacy skills – the use of instant feedback available when utilising some Web 2.0 tools allows teachers to provide students with feedback that has the potential to improve their reading and writing skills (Education & Health Standing Committee, 2012). Web 2.0 tools such as blogs have been shown to provide opportunities to improve literacy skills (Berger & Trexler, 2010).
Note: Keep the focus on the content and the outcome of the lesson, not the technology–Use Web 2.0 tools when the technology will enhance student learning (Wanago, 2013, Hobgood & Ormsby, 2011, Churches, 2009).
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