CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Gertrude W Abramson

Committee Member

Helen St. Aubin

Committee Member

Martha M Snyder

Abstract

Web 2.0 tools, namely blogs, wikis, podcasts, and RSS were introduced to change teaching practices of in-service high school teachers to improve the collaboration of today's students in the English language classroom. Two high school teachers of English language and their classes participated. The teachers were interviewed about their current teaching practices and provided with training to develop teaching units that use Web 2.0 to engage students as active collaborators in their learning. They integrated blogs, podcasts, wikis, and RSS into their teaching. Additional interviews were conducted during and after the implementation stage. Implementation strategies, changes in teaching practices, challenges encountered, and the impact on student interaction and collaboration were closely examined. Students were surveyed at the conclusion. Teachers found that Web 2.0 tools made them more efficient in teaching. Blogging was the most powerful tool for journal writing and sharing ideas. Wikis were more difficult to use but were useful to facilitate group planning and collaborative construction of knowledge. Podcasts were useful for publishing audio recordings of interviews, speeches, and poetry recitals. RSS feeds made it easy for teachers and students to track updates on websites, posts on blogs, collaborations on wikis, and audio recordings on podcasts. Both teachers and students enjoyed the interactions and collaboration that took place in the English classroom using Web 2.0 tools.

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