Web content curation and teacher education: who is responsible?


I’ve spent a significant amount of time this week wondering about how I could utilize available technology in my teaching. We are already into the first week of the semester and I’m still not sure about how to best do this. By using the word ‘available technology’, I am not talking about the VCR, or TV monitor, or OHP. I’m referring, instead, to the Internet and its wealth of web-based resources and tools.

The Internet and the www have revolutionised humanity. They have influenced and changed everything that we do, from banking and communicating, to education and the way we relate to one another. And regardless of whether we live in New York or Fiji, new media literacy may well be an important precondition to success in the 21st century.

As a teacher educator, I feel that I have a role to play in this regard. I must integrate technology into my teaching and the education of my students. But this has proven to be a difficult undertaking.

There are two reasons why I find it hard to teach my teacher education students about how to use the Internet and web-based tools in their learning and teaching. First, I am not aware of any previous effort to do this in my teacher education institution or any other teacher education institution in the Pacific. This is understandable as most of the new media and web-based (Web 2.0) tools such as Twitter and Facebook, are new inventions. The Internet itself, when compared to the VCR , is also a relatively new technology. There is no existing curriculum to guide classroom practice in this area. My teaching, I guess, would be just based on my own experiences with various new media and tools.

The second reason why I find it hard to begin this adventure is that there is just too much information (web-based resources and tools) available on the internet. The rate at which new blogs, videos, Web 2.0 tools are added to the Internet is just mind-boggling. People are producing new stuff all the time.

Thus, teaching students how to use new tools in their teaching is one thing. Teaching them to be able to sift through thousands of websites and identify content that matters, is another. Using Robin Good‘s words, I need to teach my students so that they are able to “manage this deluge” and “help bring more utility and order to the web”.

I believe that content curation skills and knowledge must be made core parts of all teacher education curricula. Today, the problem with teaching is not the lack of teaching resources; it is the lack of knowledge about how to make sense of the all those resources that are already available.

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About Vilimaka on cruiselyna
Science teacher educator. Online teaching and learning. Use of web-based technologies in education.

2 Responses to Web content curation and teacher education: who is responsible?

  1. gridjumper says:

    you are right – it is a difficult task. I find that communicating with other educators is a helpful way to get a handle on how to incorporate technology into the classroom. Twitter, wikis and blogs are an excellent way of doing this. In the meantime we need to keep asking our school districts to provide adequate training and support in this area.

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your comments and for dropping by.

      I just visited your blog – just briefly, because I’m at work. ‘ll stop by later as I like your postings “Teaching as performaing art” and “Teaching is aint Telling”.

      Rgds
      Vili

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