Web 2.0 was something new to me just a few months ago, but after completing a course full of assignments that required the knowledge of many Web 2.0 apps I feel like I can consider myself a digital citizen. One of the first things I learned in class was how to blog. Blogging is the ability to write to an audience online, instead of on paper. I have learned the proper structure of a blog; not too short, not too long and make it look pretty, but not too pretty (basically). There is much more to it, though, as blogging is considered the main form of writing online nowadays. I learned that blogging can be turned into a unit stretched over five weeks and that children as young as 11 years old have accomplished the skills it takes to blog. More specifically, WordPress has become a second nature site to venture on because I have used it so much recently. Another site that I have become extremely accustomed to is Twitter, which offers more than just funny quotes and news updates. Twitter can be used educationally just as much as it can be used socially. Tweet chats are a way for students to be able to talk with professionals and experts over a chat, but it only happens at a designated time. Through this, students (actually anybody) can begin to build their own personal learning network, or PLN’s. Remember those?
As a professional, having a blog site like this one really looks good, even if the person hasn’t read it yet. When my name is searched in Google, this blog comes up as one of the first finds and it really sets the tone for the image the viewer is creating of me. Assuming future employers will be the ones searching, having a professional blog and Twitter really makes a difference because it means that I have mastered the ability of both and can be officially published for everyone to see. I also feel professional in the sense teaching how to use these types of devices in my classroom. Imagine if 8th graders could begin learning how to blog, what they could create by the end of the year? This will start them on the right foot and in the right direction of digital literacy.
Overall, the skills I’ve learned and the experiences I’ve undergone with blogging and microblogging (Twitter) have led me to believe that I can continue to use them anywhere. Whether I am a teacher or a parent, teaching kids how to effectively use Web 2.0 is something that I will strive to do because of the advantages I know that come with it. I want my students and children to be more digitally competent than I ever was because of the success that stems from the abilities it teaches you. Keep calm and blog on!