The Most Appealing Ideas Expressed by the Author
In his book Technology – Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, Willard Richardson raises the question of the role of technologies in contemporary education. Specifically, the author points out that technologies have seen rapid development over the course of the last several decades. However, the sphere of education has been rather slow at embracing the progress and innovations and adjusting to the changing world around.
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In his book, Richardson offers guidance and explanations to fellow educators as to the integration of digital technologies in the process of teaching. The author explores a variety of tools such as blogs, wikis, RSS, social bookmarking, online galleries, audio and video streaming, and social networks. Richardson provides a number of ideas concerning the application of all of these resources for the purpose of creating the innovative and interactive teaching process and the kind of learning that is connected to the students’ everyday lives.
I found it interesting and important that the guidance in the book is suitable for both tech-savvy educators and their peers who are new to technologies. The author recognizes that not all teachers are equally open-minded when it comes to the use of technologies. Some are hesitant, reluctant, or even fearful to learn something so new because it seems extremely complicated and unconventional.
In reality, the integration of technology is something that the sphere of education has never encountered before. As a result, all modern educators are faced with the need to embrace this extraordinary change or become outdated and outperformed by their more flexible colleagues. In that way, it can be stated that, in his book, Richardson attempts to provide all of his fellow educators with a simplified set of techniques and strategies that can help introduce digital technologies to their classrooms and improve the professional efficiency of his readers.
The Implications of The Ideas in the Book for Me as an Educator
Reading this book from the perspective of an educator, I noticed how meaningful its impact could be on the modern teachers of all specializations. To be more precise, in his book, Richardson emphasized the importance of the integration of Web 2.0 in everyday teaching practices and in every classroom. In reality, contemporary children start using digital technologies at a very young age.
Consequently, they come to schools and kindergartens with a set of useful, practical tech skills that make them potentially efficient learners in classrooms equipped with digital devices and using the web and various applications for educational purposes. As a result, it is rather logical for the author to state that teachers should be able to meet the needs and capacities of their students and come prepared to deal with the tech-savvy generation.
For many educators, including myself, the ideas expressed by Richardson in this book imply that they need to start learning new techniques. This can be quite confusing, especially for educators with many years of practice, which grew to believe that they are at the top of their careers and skill levels. Digital technologies and the World Wide Web represent invaluable and powerful resources that need to become a part of educational processes in modern schools.
The contemporary field of education has waited long enough to embrace something that became a part of everyone’s everyday life almost two decades ago. The author acknowledges that the integration of these resources may push many teachers out of their comfort zones. In turn, to address this issue, he has adapted the contents and language of his book in order to make it easy to understand for educators who are not tech-savvy. This action is intended as a way to ease their way into the new form of teaching without scaring them away.
The Ideas That I Challenge
The major purpose of the book by Richardson was to introduce a wide range of digital tools and resources that can be employed for educational purposes in modern classrooms. The author provided a simplified explanation for each of the overviewed tools and presented them as if the readers had never heard of them before. This was done in order to make the book useful for any kind of educator regardless of their tech-savviness level. The idea was to reduce the feelings of anxiety and incompetence that educators may experience when it comes to integrating technologies into their teaching practices.
The author also mentions that the addition of digital and online resources to their everyday professional performance can be highly time-consuming. Moreover, another clear challenge is the financial side of the issue. To be more precise, in order to equip classrooms with digital devices needed for the integration, the school administration has to possess appropriate funds. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many schools.
In that way, the introduction of technologies is slowed down not only by the incompetence of the teachers and their need for training but also by the lack of funding and time required to reshape educational strategies and approaches. In that way, it is possible to challenge the writer’s idea about the effectiveness of the presented tools in comparison with the resources their integration will take.