Friday, February 26, 2010

Wiki Reflection

After reading some of the reflections from my classmates, I have to agree with all of them when they say that their outlook on literacy has changed since completing this activity. Before completing this project, I looked at literacy as a means of reading and writing and how that relates to literature such as books and articles. I never realized the importance of incorporating a technological component into literacy, until I saw all the different options that you could use to show literacy. I would never have thought to portray literacy by using a wiki, scrapblog, or comic strip, so it just goes to show the various opportunities that are out there to make a unique depiction of literacy. Not every student learns in the same way, so having these different opportunities to present literacy in a number of ways, will only help reach all of our students in future classrooms. This project definitely opened my eyes to incorporating technology into our literacy learning, and how that can strengthen student's development and understanding.

I chose to do my project using a wiki, and within that project, I portrayed environmental literacy. I have always been extremely interested in environmental literacy because earth science and environmental science were always my favorite subjects in school. I have not had much experience using a wiki, so I thought it would be a good idea to create my own wiki and see what kind of preparation went into creating my own wiki. During the process of coming up with my own wiki, I thought it would it was important to not only discuss how environmental literacy can impact students development in areas of reading, writing, and science, but also to show some of the pressing issues that are facing our environment presently (global warming, destruction of rainforests, and endangered animals). When talking about environmental literacy, I came up with various pages talking about the importance of incorporating environmental literacy into our classrooms, and also provided various resources that could be used when teaching these subjects, such as picture/informative books. We know it is important to present these different types of literacies into our classrooms, but without the proper resources, it is impossible to provide students with the necessary information to further their competence in environmental issues, and the literacy around those topics.

Although the wiki did take much longer to create than I had anticipated, I really saw this projects as beneficial because I am much more familiar with how to use a program like this, which means I am much more likely to use this in my future classrooms. Technology is expanding at an alarming rate in today's society, so it is vital that we as future teachers know how to use this technology, but also how to familiarize our students with these options. One of the advantages of using a wiki, is that is can be edited and changed by both the creator, and members, which is why it could be used as a great discussion tool for students that may not be comfortable speaking out in a large class discussion. The wiki can also be set to private so only the members are able to view what goes on the wiki, which is important for confidentiality issues, especially for students who are in elementary school. These are a few of the advantages of using a wiki in classroom discussions, and how that will help portray various types of literacy.

I feel like my wiki was geared more towards teachers because it was talking more about how to incorporate environmental literacy into our education and schools. The wiki also provided various resources that teachers could be used in their lessons plans, so those aspects of the wiki are geared more towards teachers. Some of the links on the wiki are definitely geared towards upper elementary students, such as the links about how children can make a difference and help decrease global warming, the destruction of rainforests, and how to help endangered animals. This shows another important advantage of wikis because it can be geared towards teachers or children, which can definitely help familiarize both groups of people with how to navigate around the wiki and how to directly get involved with environmental issues and actively participating in environmental education. This type of technology allows students to be directly involved by using the discussion post, as well as exploring the different links that are available to them to explore, which will further their knowledge about the environment as well as this type of technology.

Overall, I found this new literacies project to be very beneficial in furthering our knowledge of how to use technology in our own lives, as well as how to use this in our future classrooms. I am very happy that we got the chance to explore these various types of technology and literacy because it opened my eyes about all the ideas that could be incorporated into our classrooms and how to reach all of our future students using different ideas if needed.

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