Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Here is my posting for Chapter 4 Challenge #4. This book is really making me think out of the box.

Challenge #4 Communicate with new tools.

Asynchronous Communication Tool
An asynchronous communication tool is a tool used for communication. When using an asynchronous communication tool, the communication between the people does not happen at the same time.

I have personally communicated with others using asynchronous tools like email, blogs, discussion boards, and social networking sites. This week I have done a lot of communicating/posting on My PLN page. Reading posts and other information shared on the site has been very insightful. In our textbook, the authors stated that asynchronous communication tools do not allow two people to communicate in real time and face to face. I think for a child, and myself at times, you don’t feel like you are collaborating with a person. It sometimes feels like you are collaborating with another computer.

Synchronous Communication Tool
A synchronous communication tool is another type of communication tool. When using this tool, the communication happens in real time and in some cases the people communicating can see each other.

The synchronous communication tool I used this week was Skype. I Skyped with a colleague after work hours.  Skype allowed us to communicate with each other at a time that was more convenient for us. As teachers we all know how hard it is to find time to talk to colleagues during the school day. Because the conversation was happening at a mutually agreeable time, we were able to discuss things at a greater length. I can see that Skype is almost essential for any global collaboration. The fact that you get to see someone face to face and talk with them in real time allows for a deeper conversation. The face to face contact probably leads to more learning for the students.  
I was unable to use Skype or discussion board posting in a synchronous and asynchronous way. I do see how people could communicate synchronously via discussion posts. They would just have to be on the discussion board at the same time and reply immediately to each other’s post. Skype could also be used asynchronously. A person could record themselves talking and send it to someone else. A teacher could also record themselves presenting a lesson and share it with their students.

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