Thursday, September 13, 2007

Empowering Relationships

We are created for relationship. There are several relationships in our lives. Those with our Creator, those with our spouses, children, & extended family, those with our friends, & those with our colleagues. Those relationships are strengthened and deepened through time we spend developing them.
Web 2.0 tools can be used to intensify the relationships in our lives. VOIP is a cheap way to keep in touch using audio. Videoconferencing is a free way to reinforce ties between learners - I like to use it to not only motivate learners but to give them connections they can strengthen through collaborations. Learners don't always realise people on the internet are just that - people. If we give a face to people with whom they work, it's easier to understand the all people should be shown God's love.
Blogging and commenting on blogs helps to cement our relationships. Discussions happen between people, not robots. Our understandings of who we are as well as who the others are is developed through blogging. Our thinking is deepened, further connected, challenged, & maybe re-aligned through blogging.
Podcasting is another web 2.0 that solidifies relationships. I did some podcasting with primary students today. They were reading their books and will encourage those people important to them to listen this evening. Listening to these voices will bring families closer.
I use web 2.0 tools to reinforce those things that are already important to our lives. Relationship is one of those things. Education by developing effective habits of mind is another. What I do, teaching technology as a seperate class, needs to disappear. Technology, like reading, needs to be an integral part of what we all do. While this view may ultimately put me out of a job, it is the right thing to do for our learners. If I'm not willing to lose my job, then I am not going to be able to do my job.
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Colleen said...

Wow...this seems to be a hot topic today. I like how everyone brings a different perspective to the conversation.

I actually had a very negative experience involving the tools we use to communicate with students. I found it so disturbing that I had to blog about it. The positive part is the response I received from my twitter-second life-edublogger friends. Within hours of publishing the post, my pals began leaving comments. It was very uplifting.

I totally agree that technology should no longer be a separate class but I don't think you will be out of a job. What you do for your students will never go out of style.

Andrew Zeisel said...

I have just recently learned about skype and have slowly began to incorporate into my daily life. I have already been thinking of all the great ways I will be able to use Skype in my future classroom but for whatever reason I didn't think of it as a great way to strengthen relationships. I have always seen the internet and cell phones and other technology which connects people, but not face to face, is not good. I have heard the studies and the theories that state we are becoming a less social society. This is why I believe I couldn't see the ability skype has to keep relationships close. New technologies besides skype can thusly be used for the same thing, to strengthen relationships.
The example I think you were getting at in your blog was on the lines of... A child comes home from school and gets asked by his/her parents about what he/she did in school that day... This child who may not remember completely the events of the day or not know the best way to describe the day can upload a podcast or other digital recording and show his/her parents what he/she did that day. this use of these new medias will allow the parents to enter their child's classroom and their world and better understand them. New technologies will allow the family to be a closer and understanding unit. I LOVE THAT. Technology in the family, how awesome.