Do web 2.0 tools affect student motivation?

This past year, I tried to incorporate many web 2.0 opportunities in my lessons. I have the challenge of my district blocking and/or preventing student work to be published online. I, however, volunteered to pilot several web 2.0 tool activities with my students. Each experience required that I provide feedback on possible concerns or explain how the tool benefited my students' learning. I was thrilled recently when my district's technology director said he was going to propose changes to our district policy - opening up these student publication opportunities. I look forward to changes happening - but am still holding my breath.

One of last year's students dropped by my classroom yesterday. She said she came back to say how much fun she had in my classroom. She said it was not just what she learned, but the ways she was able to do her work that made class so much fun for her. I know she enjoyed using Wordle , Animoto, blogs, podcasts (listening and creating), as well as google docs. She is disappointed that her current teachers do not provide these same online opportunities. I reminded her that even last year, not all of her teachers used the Internet in the same way that I did. I encouraged her to select a web 2.0 tool when appropriate and ask her teacher's permission before using them. She left with a smile and thanked me for taking time to talk with her.

I'm interested in opinions on how web 2.0 tools may diminish student motivation in other classes. Should I be worried about students losing interest in another subject if technology is not used or encouraged in that classroom? Are students learning experiences weakened when I allow them to use web 2.0 tools, and causing them to think deeper in my class? Please share your thoughts on the concept.

Views: 349

Tags: interest, motivation, technology, web_20

Comment by Candace Townsley on August 28, 2009 at 6:13pm
I'll be doing THIS YEAR what you did last year. Like you, my school blocks just about everything- but I've found various sites that I am able to use (Wikipedia, Edmodo, Edublogs). I'm very excited to incorporate Web 2.0 into the classroom... these are the digital natives~it's just the immigrants that are a bit apprehensive! I sure you will have many more students coming by and thanking you for teaching outside the box. Keep it up!!
Comment by Bev DeVore-Wedding on August 28, 2009 at 6:45pm
I too will be incorporating much more online technology and tools this year; I plan on using in for mastery teaching as well as allowing students to work ahead as well as remediation resources; I also think it will help me with differentiation--providing more individualized instruction, performance assessment; and mastery of topics. Now if only I had about 2 more days in the week or longer days or needed less sleep or an administrative assistant to help with the duties! I don't even have a student aide this year!
Comment by Nancy Blair on August 30, 2009 at 5:58am
I wouldn't worry about the rich experiences in your classes resulting in students losing interest in other classes when technology isn't use. Many students are already bored in classes. Exposure to your enriched environment doesn't make them more bored; it just makes the contrast sharper. Withholding these experiences because of what others are NOT doing is like not saving any people from a burning building because you can't save them ALL. The skills and strategies you provided students will serve them well in life. Perhaps your successes will lead other teachers to try more innovative instructional methods. Have a great year!
Comment by Glen Westbroek on August 30, 2009 at 9:07am
I like the analogy Nancy used with respect to a burning building. I know I would probably work to save all I could from the building until I exhausted myself. I've decided to continue providing a technology rich experience for my students. I love how web 2.0 tools get students excited about what they are learning. I also enjoy being outside the box - as Candace mentioned.

Bev, I've decided I do not need as much sleep this year so I have time to plan. I also do not have a student aide or teacher aide. It will be interesting to see how/when other teachers begin asking what I'm doing. Perhaps this is how I'll change my school :).
Comment by Karen Chichester on August 30, 2009 at 10:07am
I did the same thing last year. This year as I attempt to get others to integrate this kind of tech into their classes, I still get negative feedback. They still see it as a waste of their time and that I "hog' the computer labs (other than the library) most or our labs are unused 75% of the time. These naysayers only see word processing and internet searching (done poorly) as used for tech. So I decided to ignore them and persevere. I work with special needs kids (LD) and have seen the benefits these tech tools provide them. I think the reluctance stems from lack of knowledge.
Comment by Glen Westbroek on August 30, 2009 at 5:56pm
My thinking is that if the computers are available, I should make sure they don't go to waste. I'm ignoring any negative peer feedback and will thrive if I get any positive student feedback. I've seen both the LD and Gifted Student benefit from using these tools.


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