As I look back at the Web 2.0 year-long seminar, I can say it was a quite unique one compared to the several seminars that I have participated in the past. It was very interesting to hear how my colleagues in the seminars have innovatively used different web tools to enhance their teaching and engage their students in the learning process. Whether they were using Facebook, blogger or YouTube, many of them have successfully incorporated them into their classroom. I was very intrigue and inspired to explore one or two of these Web tools in my future mathematics courses.
This past spring semester, my colleague (Ingrid) and I used “Tumblr” to connect several classes and engaged them in online problem solving sessions. At first many of my students were very excited to use the site and most of them find the collaboration very useful in strengthen their mathematical skills. It became a challenge for me to enforce the online dialogue as the term progresses. Part of the reason may be that I introduced “Tumblr” into my hybrid class where my students were already engaging in another online learning system. Perhaps it was too overwhelming for them to divide their time between the two. My goal was to use “Tumblr” as an open source for additional engagement between students of my class and students from any others of the same level. Even though it wasn’t a total success, it did bring a different dimension to my teaching than those in the past.
As I think of my future classes, I will continue to explore the use of “Tumblr” and try YouTube to enhance my teaching so as to effectively engage my students throughout the learning process. One of the things that I will do over the summer is to redesign my syllabus to incorporate these Web 2.0 tools. I hope the vision that I have will not only make my teaching more exciting, but also make my students better learners.
I am grateful to be part of this seminar because I have gained an enormous amount of knowledge and ideas to help me develop strategies in using technology to deepen my teaching in mathematics. It is not so difficult to use technology to deliver instruction, but a bit challenging to use it to teach a concept. The student and teacher interaction and student-centered activities are difficult to achieve on an online environment.
The seminar was well organized and conducted by two brilliant colleagues, Jason and Ximenia. Thank You!