Monday, August 3, 2009

Talking of Technology in the Classroom: Web 2.0

I am kind of overwhelmed this week. To be honest, if I had posted in my blog a few days ago, I would have mentioned that I was starting to feel the topics to be repetitive. I don’t mind reading more and more on learning styles, rubrics, and assessment. There is always some new insight or even reminder to get or some new idea to implement. However, the reference to technology everytime was getting redundant for me, especially that topics are interrelated and many times I find myself jumping to one issue and reflecting on it only to discover it is the topic for the following week. It does bring me satisfaction that I am putting issues in the correct framework and finding the right links, but I guess I was tired as the pressure of the whole year was starting to have its toll on me.

Then again it would not be me not to benefit from any opportunity for improvement, so I made a rough list of the new issues I have learned so far and highlighted what I needed to learn more about. One recurrent term was assessment as I wanted to implement it at school. Another was the creation of a wiki and the term web 2.0. which were totally new to me. So I embarked on a discovery journey. Gradually, my usual energy was regained as I started to discover how much of it all is so close at hand yet not explored. I started taking notes about the best way to implement formative assessment and turning them into suggestions to share with fellow teachers in the coming year. I emailed Leslie and Deborah seeking their feedback. Then I decided that the best way to start using a blog or a wiki or any site as a learning tool is to try it myself as a space for teachers first. Our interaction would give us a hands-on experience of what it would be like for students.

In the process, I understood more the concept of social bookmarking on and I created an account in where I viewed ppt presentations on web 2.0. and teaching English. I then created my own wiki, designed as a space for me and my colleagues to exchange ideas

I suggest the following links on youtube introducing wikis and social bookmarking

At the end of it all – it is barely the beginning in fact – I am definitely overwhelmed with excitement at the prospects. I shouldn’t have mistaken exhaustion for redundancy. It always takes a fresh perspective!!! After all, learning is a trial and error process, and in this case it is a well-guided process.


  1. Dear Abdelnour,

    This is really fabulous. You've done a spectacular job in pulling together ideas and trying different technologies. The wiki is a great start, too.

    Your experience of exhaustion - burnout - is something every teacher faces, one time or another. I am very happy that you managed to re-excite yourself through learning.

    I've also wondered about redundancy in the course. Part of my thinking is to try to open new doors with familiar topics and to enable people who were unsure of how to use a technique like rubrics to have another look at it. Time will tell if it worked - as we see in every other class!

    Your can-do attitude is a good example for all of us.


  2. Dear Deborah,

    Thanks a lot for your comment. I know it comes from a true understanding of my reflections.

    I guess thinking about how to make use of technology in a way that makes our lessons more efficient is in itself a "new door". Still, there are certain concepts which, though familiar,are overlooked. We can easily fall back into the methods we have gotten used to.

    I read today that teachers should try to describe how they teach. It would be a form of reflection which they should be ready to share with their students. Sometimes, I feel I know a lot, or at least enough, but when it comes to sharing it with others, I become aware of still other gaps than the ones I was trying to fill.

    Turning mirrors into windows or opening new doors is always needed, for that's what makes communication and thus improvement possible.