K-12 School Computer Networking/Chapter 29/Understanding the Salient aspects of Computer-based Communications
Understanding the Salient aspects of Computer-based Communications 
This research paper is a project aimed at motivating Technical Coordinators and educators K-12 in the preparation of our future generation. The motivation is for coordinators who desire to make use of various technology-based environments inside and outside of the classroom borders. In order to develop and integrate technology skills which will allow students to communicate with others safely and effectively this research will share the benefits of using a technology-based environment. It will also help understand how we can help students develop careers. As Tech Coordinators we believe that a Computer based environment is meant to enhance and provoke education and develop life long goals.
As we know it technology is ubiquitous, it touches almost every part of our lives, our communities and our homes. Yet, it is no secret that our schools are lagging far behind when it comes to integrating technology into classroom learning. However, we are just beginning to explore the true potential technology offers for teaching and learning. Moreover, when properly used, technology will help our students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex and highly technological knowledge-based economy. I believe that integrating technology into our classroom instruction means more than just teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Students are resilient and they learn quickly. With that being said, they are more likely to stay engaged and on task when using computer-based communication which may even reduce behavioral issues.
Communication is the ground for dialogue. In addition, there are many ways to communicate which can provoke dialogue, as well as to act as a go-between for learning. Today, the most popular implementation of peer communication is P2P, which is often associated with file sharing. Ulf Blomqvist (2006) one of the most fascinating facets of P2P is that it promotes dialog between students. This type of communication can keep students interested in learning and help to sharpen many over arching skills. It will essentially provoke collaboration and teamwork when created in a friendly environment. In addition, peer tutoring can evolve in a broad range of activities with which students help other students. I have observed students tutoring one another. In my classroom, I feel it is important to develop classroom leaders it develops self-esteem and embeds instruction. In addition, class leaders prevent the educator from having to be all around the classroom at once. In this way, file sharing can enhance the role of an educator while effectively relinquishing traditional classroom barriers. This tool is a perfect example of how technology can help enhance the user and their capabilities.
VoIP telephony Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is one of the “new” telephone technologies. VoIP allows you to make telephone calls using a broad-band Internet connection instead of a regular phone line. Ulf Blomqvist (2006) Again P2P and its file sharing capabilities are most useful to our students when provoking collaboration and teamwork. Online conferencing which is again a great collaborating tool says, Blau and Caspi (2007), he reported that students' relative participation in Skype lessons were higher than in face-to-face lessons. The online learning environment allows the user to collaborate anytime and anywhere with synchronous technology. However students don’t have to be in the same classroom. Online learning is a classroom without borders. As a matter of fact, I can Skype my boss from another country for a meeting which I must attend. Distance is no barrier when you effectively use this technology. University students are taking advantage of the many advantages of P2P specifically online conferencing in their physical absence. I would love to see K-12 students who can’t make it in to school because of suspensions Skype in to class from a place of isolation rather than staying home and doing nothing.
Next, online chatting can often be viewed negatively because it can become a classroom distraction. However, chatting can also be used as another tool to enhance the way students effectively collaborate. Chat discussions can be used as a mode of instruction which I believe can provide interactive learning, meaningful instruction, enhanced communication and collaboration along with formative testing which helps to modify teaching. Like chatting, emailing is another form of social networking. It allows students into an online community to share interests and activities. Often times, I have noticed that this form of communication encourages students to draw out their writing skills; whereas, they were ordinarily less confident. The student’s word forms are produced with completeness and correctness. In addition, words are crafted with more thought and reflective care than when spoken. Subsequently, users are allowed some control over the look and feel of their pages and can be customized with information or forms of amusement. With all of this being said, it is essential that educators change with the time. Students need educators to remain innovative and fun. It would be to each student’s advantage if they had an educator which was not afraid of the use of technology. After all, technology works well only in conjunction with the duties it’s delegated. Moreover, with the increasing popularity of social networking tools among youth, educators need to understand what these tools are and how they are used. Integrating this type of learning can demonstrate how academic knowledge and skills are applied in the workplace and other settings. It would be a smart idea to connect students to multiple and essential ideas introducing them to an endless range of technology with which to collaborate and communicate effectively.
Another useful and engaging source of communication is the use of Blogs. Blogs are online journals which can be maintained by students individually or through the schools intranet or website. With regular entries of information, comments, and graphics and video entries are usually displayed in reverse chronological order. Blogs provide comments or information on a particular subject by user; others use as personal diary for invited viewers. Most blogs are text-based, although some focus on music, audio (podcasting), and video. Blogs can be found as features or add-ins in other applications such as social networking. They work best when they have a clear objective and purpose and are designed with realistic expectations about posting quality and frequency, and when they provide feedback methods such as comments and ratings. Blogs can be used as simple web pages posting recent information, promoting upcoming events, and sharing student activities. Next, are Wikis a wiki is a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses the material to contribute or modify content using simple tools. They are used to create collaborative web sites, informal intranets, and simple knowledge-management systems. Wikis can be used as stand-alone tools or be included as add-in features in other web, social networking, and e-learning tools. They are useful for groups connected by common interests and purposes that need to collaborate on an issue. A wiki can replace the long e-mail trails and documents generated by many group projects and scattered across computer and network file folders.
As educators we can use them for facilitating online collaboration and projects. A wiki is for “work” rather than “play” most of my students were never exposed to wikis before now. I encourage my youth to use Wikipedia to explore topics of interest. When we properly use, Web 2.0 and other related tools we can promote positive outcome for youth, schools and educators who work with them. Proper use of Technology can help keep tech-savvy young students connected to and engaged in learning. It gives students the opportunity to become informed about their peers and cohesively work with them. As Tech Coordinators and educators we can also help schools by extending our reach and broaden our use and knowledge of technology. This mission will support students and staff along with promote organizational efficiency.
While we strive to keep our youth communicating and learning we are also developing them towards a career and job opportunities. Our goals should be to continue building on students' interests using classroom projects and technology invites them into career development. With that being said, communicating and collaborating with other students universally will prompt students to become knowledgeable about the world of work, become familiar with career choices while continuing to relate using personal skills.
And, although choosing a career may seem far off for some students, others who are already 9-12th graders are now engaging in the creative thinking of the career development path. And as Educators it is our job to help students easily transition from one level to the next. In addition, if students have been given all the tools talked about previously we are doing our job. Our objective is to prepare them with the specific knowledge/skills necessary for them to progress toward gainful employment, career advancement, and success in postsecondary programs. Each student should have more of an opportunity to develop and demonstrate understanding requiring creative thinking.
Students should be able to demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge and engage in innovative communicative tools using technology.
apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas create original works as a means of personal or group expression. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues identify trends and other possibilities
Students should have a solid understanding of computer based environment to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
interact, collaborate , and publish with peers, experts , or others employing a variety of online environments and media develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems
Students should effectively use computer based communication skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate communication tools and resources.
identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions
Students should demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.
understand and use technology systems select and use applications effectively and productively trouble shooting systems and applications transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies
Lastly, a performance that develops and demonstrates students' understanding also requires assessment. Ongoing assessments along with coaching help students to refine and improve their performances of understanding. Ongoing assessments are based on ongoing criteria (or rubrics) and are publically shared early in the process of developing a performance so that students understand what they are trying to achieve". Our hope is that opportunities for every student will develop:
their full potential instruction to meet individual needs increase multiple culture group settings develop students' ability to think critically and apply their knowledge in the world and be continued learners Enable students to succeed in the modern workplace
In conclusion, by combining p2p, conferencing, messaging, group and project software a good collaborative educational environment can be created. This environment will not replace the thorough planning and supervision of the students working process. The teacher’s role is additionally to provide good working methods, templates and schedules for the projects in order to make them successful. We as educators will continue to play a crucial role in creating environments to facilitate and motivate learners to take responsibility for their learning, develop good learning habits, and become independent learners. Educators will help students be more equipped to control learning environments so that they can practice language skills and communicate with others both in and out of the classroom; even, after a course ends. As we know it, technology has greatly influenced our modern age, and has allowed us to access great amounts of information. These opportunities, we hope, will one day create citizens who will sustain local and global communities.
Author(s) and year== ==Title and Source
Ulf Blomqvist (2006) http://www.csc.kth.se/utbildning/forskar/avhandlingar
Blau and Caspi (2007) http://telem-pub.openu.ac.il/users/chais/2008/noon/4_2.pdf