Last week I did a lot of research on different types of web 2.0 technologies. As I explored each one, I found that I really had to view the tool with a critical eye. This is important because there are so many resources out there, but teachers must decide on which tools can appropriately be used in their classroom. For instance, I found many tools that were really cool - I was astounded by what they could do, however, realistically, they would not be appropriate for my elementary learners. Again, it comes back to using technology to just say it was used, or using technology for the purpose of enhancing the educational experience.
As I reflected on the topic of this blog, I decided to do a little more research into the area of reflective practice and teaching. I found several interesting sites that described the benefits reflective teaching practices can have on positive educational change, however, I wondered how this could be tied into using web 2.0 technology. I came across a blog written by Michele Martin, a Philadelphia local consultant who works with individuals and companies to construct learning and development systems. She has written a series of blogs about reflective practice. This specific blog entry discusses several important elements for reflection, but the three that stuck out most for me were time, structure, and practice. Taking the time to think about experiences and what has been learned and can be done differently is most important. Michele describes how blogs can be important tools for reflection because they provide structure for reflection. I have definitely found that this blog allows me to pull my ideas together. She references the blog of Joe McCarthy who plays on the book the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and writes about the Eight Blogging Habits of Highly Effective People. Finally, she states that people simply have to try it out and start blogging! It is interesting to think of the amount of people who currently have blogs and use them to reflect each day or week. I wonder if one day people will be expecting a presidential blog (written by the president - not an office clerk) for a daily update of our country?
I also found myself wondering how I can use reflective thinking more in my teaching. I came across a website that summarizes how teachers can facilitate reflective thinking in the classroom. As I develop my own reflective practice, I would like to see my students develop these skills as well.