I often experience student web 2.0 fatigue in my classes because students have a tough time following multi-step directions. It's difficult to take kids through a step-by-step process of getting signed up to multiple sites, like flickr, twitter, blogger, edublogs, wikispaces... after a while they get burned out.

Anyone having this experience? Have you figured out ways to simplify the "instructional" process of trying to take kids through this without losing their interest?
Each time I want to embark on a networking project (like remote phone-blogging) it requires so much signing up, signing in, uploading, tagging, sending... the kids get impatient and crabby. Some DON'T WANT TO use the tools.
I thought the social network was supposed to make learning fun!
Anyone have kids who don't like all this "cool" stuff?

Tags: 2.0, digital, digitalnatives, learning, natives, students, teens, web, web2.0

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First, If we want students to respect these powerful technologies and use them safely and responsibly, a good dose of character education would seem in order, prior to turning them lose. Been said before, its not the technology that's bad or dangerous, but how it is used.

We also need to model/demonstrate purposeful and meaningful uses of these technologies before we expect our students to engage in such practices. Web 2.0 does not have to be the central focus of every classroom activity, rather it can take a supporting role to more traditional classroom activities.

I rely on MySpace to interact with musicians who are supportive of schools and students. The comments they leave help to excite and motivate my students, and "friends" have even suggested some learning activities. I use the Blog section of the MySpace page to introduce and highlight our latest learning activities and share them with others outside the classroom...

M.U.S.I.C. MySpace Blog

Also, unrealistic to expect these new technologies in themselves to excite and engage students when many are suffering from media and technology overload.

We are dealing with the "multi-tasking" generation more considered with speed and volume of communication and interaction, rather than quality or substance. I have noticed these technologies impacting written expression in a negative way, with many students not even giving a second thought to using "r" "u" and "y" in papers they write.

Not uncommon to find my daughter (11th grade) on the computer typing a school paper with multiple "windows" minimized at the bottom of her page including...a web site with research info for her paper, yahoo email, Instant Messenger, some type of game she is playing online, and at the same time the TV is on in the room, a song is playing on one of the web pages she has open and she is also texting a friend on her cell phone.
Think we will have to agree to disagree my friend. I do believe it is important to teach students about appropriate style and "voice" in their written and oral communication.

Informal and personal communication is very different from school essays and reports. What may be an acceptable phrase or slang expression for an email/instant message, is not suitable for a persuasive essay or research paper.

No different than explaining to a student that it is not appropriate to refer to a teacher or school administrator as "yo dude"

You are comparing apples and oranges when suggesting that the use of "usb", "cd" or "dvd" is similar to "lol" or "brb"......IMHO

I do think these distinctions are important and there is "quality loss" and I would expect those reading essays on a college or job application would be in agreement as well.

The fact that you noted and focused on concerned/considered in my post would seem to support my position that misuse of words are a distraction for the reader, and may detract from and diminish the effectiveness or quality of a written statement.
I do understand the point you are making, but I do not agree with it.

However, we are both in agreement as far as not favoring these changes.

IMHO was an attempt ( failed ) at humor/irony.

Good dialogue, would be interested in hearing other opinions and points of view as well.
Interesting conversation...

All I want to add is that a flick through the history books of language will show that change happens. I do agree that at this point in time it is 'uncomfortable' to see txt msg type language in formal writing, but again, change happens.
I teach English by having students decode text messaging of Shakespeare! Talk about motivation and interest... try www.transl8it.com Pop in your textbook language and grab the text messaging. Give to the students to decode. Along the way they are learning something and it offers a great way to introduce a topic/material. I also have games where they decode quickly, in preparation for tests....

Yes, language changes quickly. I agree with Chomsky in that we should never think of language as inorganic and "acquired" as if a thing. The term he uses is "growth". A much better term than "building" or "development"....

David
http://eflclassroom.ning.com
Indigo--give me a break! haha. IMHO any student who tried to use IMHO or OMG or LOL in a formal thesis would be laughed at. It's like pretending that poptarts could be served in a fine dining establishment just 'cause kids eat them. OMG, I hope that never is the norm!!
Boy, you're up early. You can tell we are different generations---I'm still all for a classical education and think many things kids do are idiotic. You are all for embracing it. Later.
I think you need to think carefully about the purpose of using technology in your classroom. Is it just another way to submit work? If this is the case, then forget it! Use books.
I think that one of the main reasons for using technology in the classroom is to teach students to be creative, versatile and flexible. As Nancy Bosch said, "in a year or so many of the sites will be gone and the rest will charge a fee so signing up will be moot! I saw this with all the neat Web 1.0 stuff in the late 90s". While I don't think it's this drastic, I do agree that things change. Our needs change too and this is why we should be teaching students skills that will allow them to adapt to change. Take the time now to teach your students how to read and complete a sign up form and then this process won't be such an ordeal or take up so much teaching time in the future. Teach them too how to close accounts so that they can be shut down once the purpose has been met. The time saved from teaching these skills can then be used to explore and try out various tools to find one that meets the needs of your purpose.

I could go on, but I won't. Other than to say, if you want to use these technologies then you have to sign up to them. If the kids aren't enjoying the technologies being used, then don't use them.
This is precisely what I'm talking about. This is an email I received from one of my students regarding our current unit of inquiry...

"For my UOI project, I wanted to do my summary in google docs and put the info in google docs.
So I used my datachart just like a helper for my research.

Hope that was ok.

See you tomorrow,"


FYI, a data chart is a simple table/chart the kids use to help organise their research by topic and source.

This girl has chosen, with her own initiative, to use the google apps tools we mostly use for language studies to help synthesise and present her learning in our units of inquiry. By teaching her how to use technologies in one context, she has creatively and thoughtfully used the tool as a great way to share her learning.

Yay!
Good points all around! I agree that student engagement, creativity, and ownership of learning should be the endgame regardless of course or content. Technology is just one of many "tools" or resources teachers can use to educate and motivate students.

Speaking of changes over time, last year I asked my 8th graders to recreate a music video for the Matchbox Twenty song "How Far We've Come", here are the directions....

How Far We've Come

When it comes to assignments, I try to strike a balance between demonstrating a certain skill level or proficiency in using a particular technology/software, and creation of a meaningful and thoughtful product or project that will hopefully teach others.

As a social studies teacher, I clearly want my students to examine and reflect on social and political changes over time in the video. However, the structured but "open" task allowed students to personalize their videos and incorporate changes they have witnessed and experienced that I may not have considered to be so significant. I also believe it is important to demonstrate and model any task or activity so I created a video as well.

There are links to a sampling of these videos on my profile page, here's one I found particularly engaging and entertaining...

Student Video

Funny thing about the video above, this was a team that initially resisted and complained about the assignment and wanted to make power points instead!
I have students who sometimes want to make posters instead of whatever.
I finally realized that they feel comfortable with posters -- they "own" posters. So, started allowing discovery/play time so that they could "own" the other tools as well.

I never thought this would make a difference, but it really does.

I am working on a project with our 5th graders where we received a grant to make an XO (One Laptop Per Child) laptop available to every student. You can see our blog here:
.http://crotonolpcproject.blogspot.com/

Part of what has been interesting is that unlike typical computers, these younger students adopted their XOs in the same way they adopt/own their cell phones and iPods.

I am investigating what impact they will have in the classroom.
You should post these question linking to this discussion on the front page--good questions.

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