Web 2.0 and Its Use in the Early Childhood Environment

Web 2.0 was officially coined in the year 2004 by Dale Dougherty (Anderson, 2007).  It is said to be a platform for ICT applications where users can send texts, create videos and add graphics through various ICT tools (EDTK 2030, Unit 4, p.97, 98). It also offers services such as blogs, wikis, multimedia sharing, content syndication, podcasting and content tagging (Anderson, 2007).

Anderson (2007) states that with Web 2.0, collaboration, contribution and community are the order of the day as barriers to participation are reduced. Web 2.0 offers innovative ways of creating, editing and sharing using presentation tools like prezi and slide share; video tools such as Animoto.com/education and photo peach; mobile tools like poll every where.com and phone.io;  and community tools such as Edmodo and Classroom 2.0.   These tools are very easy to access for both students and teachers and downloading is not necessary (Discovery Education).

Web 2.0 have always piqued my curiosity and as technology is rapidly evolving throughout many area of society, I considered the use of it in the early childhood classroom to be undoubtedly significant, relevant and appropriate for scaffolding children towards the technological challenges of tomorrow.  The advancement of technology has not ceased to fascinate me with the convenience it holds in regards to the unlimited access through various avenues in retrieving research material for educational purposes and the many ways it can assist children in new ways of learning while achieving the same developmental outcomes as traditional methods of teaching. Being a platform for ICT applications that can capture the intelligences of users and facilitate collaboration (EDTK 2030 Unit 4, p.97, as cited in Anderson, 2012), I strongly believe that Web 2.0 is a solid technological foundation from which I can introduce ICT in the classroom.

The curricular purpose of Web 2.0 and how it relates to learning theories.

The curricular purpose of using Web 2.0 centres around two theories.  The first being the philosophy of John Dewey (1859) who believed that children learn best as they cooperatively collaborate with others around them (Mooney, 2103) and secondly, the activity theory, which states that individuals learn by acting on and manipulating the physical entities in their environment (EDTK 2030, Unit 2, p. 39).  Using Web2.0 in the classroom can assist children in making sense of what is revolving around them as they utilize information to make connections with their real life situations. 

I can use Web 2.0 in the early children classroom to target and enhance children’s cognitive and affective learning domains, cater to their audio and visual learning styles and also enhance their imaginative and creative thinking skills and listening and speaking abilities.  For example, children can use the Web 2.0 tool Shidonni to create and care for a virtual pet; Voki, to create avatars, record their voices and carefully listen to them; Voice thread, to create their own stories, draw their own pictures and have conversations about them with children from other parts of the world and Glogster, to create online posters using various colours and graphics, write and record audio and video files (Karaoglu, 2010).

   

Conclusion

Web 2.0 offers easy access to various multimedia tools and social networking sites that allow users to contribute and collaborate with the wider community.  I can use Web 2.0 in the classroom to cater to children’s learning styles, enhance students’ learning domains, imaginative and creative thinking skills as well as speaking and listening abilities.

References

Anderson, P. (2007). What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education.

Retrieved from: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/techwatch/tsw0701b.pdf

Discovery Education. Web 2014: Web 2.0 tools.  Retrieved from :

http://web2014.discoveryeducation.com/web20tools.cfm

EDTK 2030 (2014).  Information and communications technologies in education. Unit 2.

Learning theories that guide ICT-mediated learning (p.39) [Essential reading]. UWI Open

Campus.

EDTK 2030 (2014).  Information and communications technologies in education. Unit 4.

Educational  Application of Web 2.0 tools (p. 97,98). [Essential reading]. UWI Open Campus.

Karaoglu, O. (2010). Teaching Village. Moving your Kindergarten into Web 2.0 with 5 different

tools.  Retrieved from: http://www.teachingvillage.org/2010/03/09/moving-your-kindergarten-into-web-2-0-with-5-different-tools-by-ozge-karaoglu/

Mooney, C. G. (2013). Theories of childhood. An introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson,

Piaget and Vygotsky. Second edition: Redleaf Press.

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