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Information Access and Empowerment

I’ve been a middle school technology coordinator for the last thirteen years. That means that I’ve seen amazing progress in the area of technology, education and communication. When I started in this position, my students didn’t “Google,” many of our families didn’t have Internet access or even computers at home, and those of us who had cell phones certainly didn’t use them to make dinner reservations, take photos or check Twitter to see what was going on all over the world.

I’m astounded at how that has changed. In the intervening years, I’ve taught my students to create videos and podcasts, I’ve networked with educators all over the world, and I’ve even used digital technology to go on a scavenger hunt while traveling in Vienna. These are the things that excite me about Web 2.0: that we are going from being web consumers to web content producers, and that we can do it with people from our own communities or from communities all over the world.

How empowering these tools are! Using the new web and increasingly available (can I even say ubiquitous, in some cases?) digital tools, we can document our lives and immediately share it with anyone who want to know. Whether it’s an “aha” moment in the classroom, an atrocity that must be uncovered, or simply a photograph of a beautiful sunset, we have tools that make it possible for us to open our lives – and our minds – to one another. The message is clear: nobody has to live in isolation any more.

As an early Web 2.0 adopter (and certainly not of the “digital native” generation!), I have already seen how empowering these tools are. I cannot believe how my professional network has grown over the years; how easily I can connect with colleagues all over the world and how much more aware I am of global issues. What astounding gifts we’ve been given: immediate access to information is and the ability to inexpensively contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the world. I feel blessed every day to be living in this world and to be able to teach my students how to navigate through it.

Comments

Rakiba's picture

Very well described about the

Very well description about the facts of using technology and its impact in our everyday life.Well,we hope to read your more writings...!!!
Good Luck!

nargiz's picture

I really enjoyed reading your

I really enjoyed reading your assignment and learning of the ways you have used Web 2.0 in your own community, as a tool for empowerment and teaching. Thank you for sharing!

earthwindfire's picture

Information Access and Empowerment

Thank you, Tktchr, for this Week 1 piece. I can greatly appreciate your awareness of the changes that have taken place in people's abilities to connect with the world via the use of technology, education and communication. Aha
moments are so wonderful to experience and to observe in those we teach, particularly if they are thunderbolts of understanding about the changes that need to take place on this planet and its inhavitants. Also, the information we can access, as you say, through Web 2.0, is an astounding gift. May we all use it to better our lives and the lives of
all those we reach. You are on a lofty journey and I wish you continued success and enlightenment.

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