As educators, we’re called to teach the content from our disciplines. Simultaneously, we aspire to develop critical thinking skills, cultivate citizenship, and empower our students to grow as enlightened individuals. Considering the digital tools we have at our disposal, how can the web be utilized to help us reach these goals? Alternatively, what technologies are being used in the careers of your discipline and how can we integrate these tools into our curriculum to prepare our students? Before we answer these questions, let’s consider the strengths of the web for enhancing our teaching.
Group Blog – To engage students in reflection and engage them in writing for the public, instructors have used group blogs in class. The benefit of the group blog is that it’s combines all of the students work into one website that can be integrated into the course. Here’s an example from an architecture course at our university:
Collaborative Web Annotation – “Writing in the margins” of books and journal articles (or any other texts) in collaboration with others is a strong example of how web technologies can enhance learning experiences. Using collaborative web annotations, faculty on our campus are seeding their course discussion and engage students in collaborative scholarship. Here’s an example of a whitehouse.gov webpage that is being annotated publicly by people around the world:
Many more – These are just a couple technologies that are used on our campus to enhance the learning experience for students. They’re great examples of how the strengths of the web, asynchronous collaboration, peer-peer scholarship, and easy sharing, can be used to engage students. However, they are only two among thousands(+) of available tools.
Information Literacy & Digital Citizenship
Why teach students about the web and digital identities? We’ll have discussion around this question in particular.
Here’s a textbook that covers web literacy for students as a curricular resource:
We’re going to dive deeper into collaborative web annotation as it’s one technology that’s being used across many disciplines. Here are several pieces of literature that are being annotated collaboratively by students:
If you’d like to create a Hypothes.is account and start collaboratively annotating the web, signup here.