Curricular Integration

Faculty members who are interested in integrating Web 2.0 technology into their courses can go about it in a variety of ways. One way is to design discussions, papers, or activities looking critically at the technologies. One of the main goals of higher education is to develop critical thinkers. Through exercises in critical thinking, students will hopefully become more self-sufficient and will be able to make better decisions. Right? This may be the goal but how we get them to that point may seem unclear. Additionally, the importance of teaching students how to think critically about their online behavior is especially important because the results of those behaviors are still unknown. How a students use of Facebook can affect her or his identity development is less known than how a students use of alcohol can affect her or his academics and/or health. Therefore, there is a greater need for instilling a critical thinking skill set within students as they negotiate their digital lives.

Another method for curricular integration is using online social utilities within the classroom. However, there are critical things to think about when using online social utilities with students. Assuming that all students are technological savants because of their being digital natives can result in negative learning outcomes. Following sections provide a few examples of how online social utilities can be integrated into course curriculum.