Recent data suggests that 13.2 million people in Australia have active social media accounts (We are Social, 2015, p. 66). With this in mind, educators will continue to look for ways to harness this power within their classrooms. Hew and Cheung’s (2013) analysis of the impact of Web 2.0 tools reveals that the “technologies appear to have a general positive impact on student achievement”(p. 57)
Over the past few years, I’ve experimented with using Google+ Communities within my classroom and can confirm some of the trends that have been presented in their findings. It should be noted that I’ve found varying degrees of success within each group. Each class has been a different entity. It’s clear that while it can bring students out of their shell, others become less vocal. The challenge is to maintain motivation for it and ensure that its use is effective and meaningful. It was reassuring that Roblyer and Doering highlighted Henry and Medows’ (2009) research that also noted this emphasis on engaging content (p.246).
A focus for my Year 12 Revolutions class this year will be to convert my students, many of whom are what David White terms ‘visitors’ (those that use the web for a set purpose and do not leave a social trace online), into what he calls ‘residents’ (one that is socially visible, information seeking, and involved in the non-traditional production of sources). These ‘residents’ will produce blogs that will be shared with other Revolutions’ students throughout the state.
Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S. (2013). Use of Web 2.0 technologies in K-12 and higher education: The search for evidence-based practice. Educational Research Review, 9, 47–64. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2012.08.001
Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A.H. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching (Pearson new international edition). Essex: Pearson
We Are Social. (2015). Digital, Social & Mobile in 2015. Retrieved from http://wearesocial.com/uk/special-reports/digital-social-mobile-worldwide-2015
White, D. (n.d.). Visitors & Residents. Retrieved from http://daveowhite.com/vandr/
This blog post calls for us to discuss one of the five potential problems listed within Roblyer and Doering (2014, p. 234) that highlight areas of concern around internet safety. They include:
- Accessing sites with inappropriate content
- Safety and privacy issues for students
- Fraud on the Internet
- Computer viruses and hacking
- Copyright and plagiarism issues
Students at my school have come live with the firewalls that surround inappropriate material, have a growing understanding of internet safety, and rarely look to use the internet for fraud or hacking purposes. What seems to be the growing issue is the students’ lack of knowledge around copyright and plagiarism. Students are found submitting others’ work as well as using images, video and audio clips (that they are not permitted to) across all year levels within this secondary setting. What compounds this issue is the teaching staff’s lack of knowledge around these issues as well.
In the future, cross marking should continue to play a major role in order to catch students who plagiarise. Unfortunately, this will never be enough to ensure that students’ work remain authentic and the integrity of assessment pieces is intact. In order to combat this, there needs to be a tech based solution. Using things like PaperRater is a step in the right direction, but it needs to be more comprehensive. Programs and software such as these would not prevent or identify file sharing from students across year levels. When work is submitted digitally, it needs to be uploaded to a database that can be checked. I’m not sure if this exists at a level aimed for secondary or primary, but it definitely should be!
Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A.H. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching (Pearson new international edition). Essex: Pearson.
Oh hi there!
Here’s a little bit of info about me… I’m a full time teacher at a secondary school located in Echuca, Victoria. As well as junior Humanities and English, I teach a Year Twelve History course called Revolutions.
I’ve always been interested in how purposeful use of technology can play a part in classroom achievement. What is the relationship between the two? What tools are better than others? How can we use tech to put students work on a larger platform? How much of an impact can it have on results? The list goes on…
To date, I’ve been fortunate; working in an environment that has allowed me to explore questions like the ones listed above. We’ve been a 1-1 with computers using Macbooks for 5 or 6 years now. It was a huge learning curve to begin with, but now, most staff use them with confidence and are incorporating technology purposefully.
Currently, my interests lie in creating online environments for my students and pushing them from the mindset of a digital visitor to that of a resident.
I’m looking forward to learning with this cohort! See you on the road!