How You Can Incorporate Blogs, Wikis, and Social Networks as Affordances in Your Subject Areas and Among Your Unique Set of Learners

Blogs can aid in the learning process by promoting critical and analytical thinking.  They also encourages creativity and foster analogical thinking.  These processes are achieved when learners reflect on and respond to posts and comments (EDTK 2030, Unit 4, p.102 as cited in Richardson, 2010).  Teachers can  use blogs as a means of enhancing social and emotional development by creating the opportunity for them to talk about issues of concern in the blogs, for example in the subject area of social studies where they encounter many issues of social concerns like crime and poverty.

Wiki, on the other hand was not intended for the expression of personal feelings but for the allowance of a pool of authors to integrate information and create a site (EDTK 2030, Unit 4, p. 109 as cited in Klobas, 2006) however, like blogs, they also encourage critical thinking skills as students take action in selecting materials ascertaining its relevance, then write, revise, reflect, edit and publish the end result.  Teachers can use Wikis in the classroom to allow students to share collected data for group projects, prepare reports and exchange ideas (EDTK 2030, Unit 4, p. 111,112 as cited in Berger and Trexler, 2010). Wikis can be used for many subject areas like science, English literature and information and communication technology.

Another affordance that technology could offer in the classroom is the use of social networking sites.  For example, Youtube can be used to view many educational videos on various subject areas and Edmodo could afford teachers the means of discussing these subject areas with students.  Assignments and homework can be given through Edmodo and feedback can also be shared to improve learning outcomes.

Reference

EDTK 2030 (2014) Information and Communication Technology in Education. Unit four. Educational application of Web 2.0 tools (pp. 102, 111, 112). [Essential reading]. UWI Open Campus.

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