EDSS 521 Blog Post #4

“Defining the Emerging Role of Social Learning Tools to Connect Students, Parents and Educators”

It appears that there is a growing interest in utilizing social learning tools from students, parents, and educators in schools.  All parties seem to agree that social learning tools can enhance students’ learning experience, but they do not all agree on the tools that will be most effective.  Students want things such as chat room access where they can collaborate with their peers where parents and educators seem to favor more of an online forum where they can post what students are learning in class and project instructions.  I tend to side more with the benefits of the online forums where teachers and parents have more opportunity to communicate, but I also fear that there may be some abuse of this open line of communication where some parents may require excessive amounts of questions about assignments and students’ learning.

“Speak Up in Learning to Change, Changing to Learn”

I was surprised that Education ranked 55th out of 55 industries in technology use, even behind coal mining.  I’d be interested to see how that is measured exactly because I still feel like technology is used on basically a daily basis in schools today.  However, I certainly agree that it is under-utilized and we should be making a stronger effort to use these tools that we have available to us.  The key to it all is for us to find the tools that are most effective in correlation to student learning and keep students safe at the same time.

“Youth Teach 2 Learn”

I really like the model of this program, although I honestly have no idea where I’d be able to start implementing it at my own school site.  I am curious as to when these high school students teach the elementary students.  Do they take time out of their high school courses or is this an after school program for elementary students.  I like them getting young students excited about difficult subject areas at a young age though.  It is definitely a program that is mutually beneficial for the high school and elementary school students.

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