The use of technology and creating these online communities is extremely important in today’s learning. Researching through textbooks at our local library is not wrong but accessing the large amount of information the Internet provides us offers us endless possibilities. Social justice issues can be addressed through this new learning by allowing students to watch videos, find thousands of research articles on specific situations or even contact people across the world to discuss this issue where they live. Anti-oppression can be achieved by creating online pages, blogs, videos of your students working together, practicing equality and strengthening relationships among each other. On the other hand, not all students are able to afford Internet or phones/computers to access this incredible source (will work great if schools can provide the necessary devices for in-class work).
What is made possible through these personal networks our students create is everything. Their assignments/files can be organized simply through Google Drive, they can be shared through this app as well or by writing on a blog. Twitter and Facebook allow them to connect with others in their school or across the world; proper use is essential. Presentations can be made to be more engaging, creativity levels are limitless and provide students with multiple ways to express their ideas (and come up with new ideas by viewing others’).
A few things made impossible through this approach can be less one-on-one interaction. Yes we are able to reach people via Skype, Google Hangout, Twitter etc, but we lose that physical interaction compared to if they were standing in our classroom. Students may not learn how to look up books at a library as everything is so accessible online. However, the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this situation. Online networks are extremely useful to introduce in our classrooms and I plan on doing my best to do so.