Light, Daniel. (2011). Do web 2.0 right. Learning and leading with technology, 38(5), Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/issues/Feature_Article_Do_Web_2_0_Right.aspx
Summary: Web 2.0 tools, such as wikis and blogs, are a great way to keep students engaged and motivated when done right. Wikis are multi-authored web pages that focus on the final product while leaving authors anonymous, while blogs are conversation tools for communication. Teachers who succeeded in using these tools have focused on three elements:
1- Instituting Daily Practice.
Teachers used blogs in two ways; individual blogs and classroom blogs. Individual blogs were used as private means of contact between the teacher and each student privately, which helped the teacher understand how individual students felt about the class. While classroom blogs were used to allow students to comment on the teacher’s posts and each others’.
2- Considering the Audience.
With Web 1.0 activities, as creating a webpage, it was easier for the teacher to filter negative comments, while in Web 2.0 activities communication is directed back and forth between users. Therefore, students were concerned about the audience, and their participation was limited if they felt their audience wasn’t friendly, or that others will judge their work. Teachers overcame that problem by making weekly assignments private but created a public wiki to publish selected work.
3- Teaching and enforcing Appropriate Behavior.
Teachers created a supportive environment that encourages students to share their ideas and opinions respectfully, through a strong in-class community.
Web 2.0 encourages students to engage with their peers and their teacher through out the day, in and out of school, which is an extremely effective technique.
Q1. How would wikis and blogs benefit students in a Math class?
Students can benefit from those tools in so many ways, the teacher can post a Math problem and students can try to solve it and comment on the post. Students can share their answers and ask question anytime and not wait for the next school day. The teacher can always stay in touch and answer any question they might have, and can post the next lesson as a warm up.
Q2. How would the teacher get a student who doesn’t have a computer or internet access "at home" involved through blogs?
The teacher can always allow 10 min in the beginning of every class for that student to check his/her blog on a classroom computer while others are discussing homework. The teacher may give him/her the problem that will be posted ahead of time so he/she can answer it and discuss it later with his/her peers. The student can use school lab computers whenever possible.