Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Using Tagxedo as a Learning Object

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In my Teaching and Learning with Technology class, our instructor, Zoe Branigan-Pipe, asked us to create a learning object.  A learning object is basically a method of using a Web 2.0 tool to teach a part of the curriculum.  To try this out, I chose to use Tagxedo, a very fun take on a Wordle, to display the characteristics of a Fair Weather Cumulus Cloud.  I thought that this would be a creative way to approach the Ontario Ministry of Education's Grade 2 Science & Technology curriculum, under the Understanding Earth and Space Systems strand and the Air and Water in the Environment topic expectation:

  • 2.5 investigate water in the natural environment (e.g., observe and measure precipitation; observe and record cloud formations; observe water flow and describe where it goes; observe a puddle over time and record observations)

I'm not sure how in depth this curriculum goes into the various types of cloud formations, but I do recall students learning about cloud formations at some point in elementary school!  Please correct me if I'm wrong about the curriculum expectation this could be used for, or if I'm off-base about the whole thing :)

Regardless of the accuracy of my Tagxedo example, I think using Web 2.0 tools to "teach" curriculum is an awesome idea, but only if it is done appropriately.  I believe that in order to use these tools appropriately, we cannot rely on a tool to teach our students.  We could use these as a means to summarize the key points of an upcoming topic of study, or to consolidate the key concepts discussed in a particular unit.  As usual in the world of technology, the opportunities for using Web 2.0 tools in education are endless - the ability to teach through the use of these tools provides a creative, interactive way of allowing students to actively participate in their own learning.

Main point to take away from this blog post:  Give Web 2.0 tools a try!

P.S.  Information about Fair Weather Cumulus Clouds gathered from University of Illinois' WW2010 website.

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