Digital Media

Jessica Clay
Mike Baker

Check out the website for this presentation here: Digital Media Collaboration

If we want our students to communicate with us and with each other, we have to speak their language. The advent of new digital media technology makes it possible for students to collaborate in a number of ways. In this presentation I will provide a foundation for the importance and benefits of student collaboration in the classroom using digital media. After a brief overview, I will showcase three specific technologies: Wiki pages, blogging, and podcasting. For each I will provide a brief rationale and then give examples showing how they can be used in a classroom setting. Perhaps the most appealing feature of these collaboration tools is their adaptability. For instance, when students blog, the teacher can create an experience as open-ended as giving students a prompt and allowing them to post responses, ask questions, etc. freely, or as directed as posting very specific questions for students to respond and then requiring a certain number of reactions to other student’s work. In addition, these tools are not limited to one curricular area; they can easily be adapted to work in a variety of contexts. Students can blog about their response to a piece of literature that was just read, or make a podcast about the history of Pennsylvania. They could post a video to the class Wiki page that explains the importance of math, or keep a blog about their progress during a science experiment. Students will become engaged with these tools as they work with each other and learn from each other. Cooperation is an important teaching strategy mentioned by Marzano (2001) and listed in ISTE’s National Educational Technology Standards for Students. Allowing our digital natives to use the language that is most comfortable to them, we will greatly enhance the amount of collaboration in our classrooms.

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