Thursday, August 8, 2013

What challenges occur when students are empowered to create online "text" and share globally with others?

I think there are a variety of challenges that exists when we try to get our students to create online "text".  The first challenge is ensuring the students and teachers have the proper training and professional development to take part in the online creation.  As teachers, we should be looking for opportunities for ourselves and our students to become equip with the knowledge and skills to create proper online materials.  This would include understanding the multimodality of text and how we want the text to be represented to the outside world.  Gunther Press provides a great description of the meaning of text and how even changing one word can give the readers a different impression of what the text represents.  Gunther Kress

While providing training and professional development we must also consider guiding our students to appropriate venues to create this text.  I was so inspired to read the blog article from Eric Williams on promoting student engagement: Eric Williams  It made me immediately go to Discovery Education and see what other grants/programs were available to introduce students to areas where they could create and produce content information online for others to learn from.  Programs such as this are wonderful because they provide students with an outlet and a place to put their creations. Finding such outlets though is a challenge, but if a teacher is dedicated enough to get their students online and creating "text" then they will find opportunities such as the one provided by Discovery Education.

When I think about my students and what role they play in creating online "text" right now, I would say that the majority of them are mainly consumers of technology.  The producing and creating that they take part in online is primarily through social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  The videos from this module talked a lot about the minority group of students who were going home and producing and creating online outside of the realm of social media.

Both Henry Jenkins and Mimi Ito mentioned the need for educators to reach these type of students and bridge the gap between what was happening in school and incorporate it to what they were creating outside of school.  Teachers should not just be reaching out to the minority group of students of course, but to all students.  I think it would be a challenge to find an interest that all or most students would be motivated to create online "text" about.  I know most of my students would not be interested in creating video games like the one video showed on the ten year old.  If there was a way to take a lesson and provide students with a variety of online "text" options, I think it would open up more interest and willingness of all students to begin producing content online.

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