Thursday, June 5, 2008

my google page!!

I refuse to do things just for the sake of doing them, or just because they are an assignment. So, I decided to do something for my web 2.0 assignment that would actually be useful to me (and other science teachers) in the future. For my web 2.0 assignment, I made a Google page called Science Resources. My page has a ton of links for biology, chemistry, and forensics teachers. These links (for the most part) are links that I have used in the past as a student teacher at East and a teacher at Webster. The idea of making a web page was a little intimidating because I am not really a computer savvy type of person (however, I am really good at crashing computers). With this said, you may be asking yourself why I went ahead and did this as my assignment because I could have definitely done something easier and less time consuming. However, this is something that I have wanted to put together for a long time and this assignment gave me the push to do it! Making this Google page was surprisingly painless. There were no real directions, just a tool bar of things that you can do.My learning process was "trial and error" learning. The browser is very forgiving. I knew what I wanted to do, so I just kept trying different things out until I was happy with it. For example, I initially started with all of the information on one page, but I decided that it looked really sloppy. Then I figured out that I could link different Google pages together. So, the final project is actually 5 Google pages linked together. The buttons on the tool bar are also very user friendly and straightforward. It was also a nice way to build my first website because some things on the page were already set up. For example, you can customize your layouts and designs, but only to a certain extent. In stead of giving the user full control, there is a set list of layouts and designs to pick from. As a learner, this was good for me because it made things a little less overwhelming. However, now that I'm versed in the ways of Google pages, I want to figure out how to customize these things. The biggest challenge that I had in completing this assignment was finding the time to do it!! I basically had a list of websites that I had sent myself through e-mail, and I knew that I wanted to organize them in some way. But it took a considerable amount of time to write a short description about the websites and figure out what topic they should go under. Other than this challenge, there weren't any because the software was so user friendly. The journey that I took in building this Google page and learning a new literacy is much like the process that Rogoff (2004) describes when she talks about learning being a process of transformation of participation. “Learning is a process of transformation of participation itself, arguing that how people develop is a function of their transforming roles and understanding in the activities in which they participate” (pp. 209). I have been using a variety of websites for years for both personal, schooling, and professional purposes. I think that using websites made this transition into a website creator a much easier transition/learning experience. As Larson & Marsh (2005) said “Rogoff (1992) helps to clarify the layered complexity of participating in multiple communities by thinking about participation as occurring on three, mutually constituted planes: (1) apprenticeship, (2) guided participation and (3) participatory appropriation” (pp. 108). I know that this literacy practice was a one time thing for me, however, I think that this website will provide other teachers with a variety or literacy practices: such as playing science games or using one of the videos or animations in class. For me, this website, in a way, exhibits some of the literacy practices that I have used over the past months as a teacher.

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