For those of us who have difficulty explaining (or understanding) what Web 2.0 is all about, I came across the following framework and believe it one of the most interesting and accurate descriptions of what Web 2.0 is.
Please take a few moments to read it and let us know your thoughts...What do you think? Do you believe these tools and this movement is changing the way education is seen/created today? What are some of its benefits and some of its dangers?
Great site...I am excited to follow his work. To answer your question...I see the potential for these tools to change the way kids learn and even more importantly the way teachers do! I think we see it all day long. However, for the most part our educational system is well behind that of business. The reasons why I believe we are laggings is two fold....The educational system we work with (rules, policies, etc...) and then the comfort level with the teaching staff.
Last week I was fortunate to have Will Richardson at my Supt. Conference Day and he said something that struck me. He said forget about your kids! Find something you are passionate about and connect with others around the world using these tools. His point was that once you realize the power and ease of the tools, you will understand how it reshapes learning. He urges (with incredible passion) teachers to take charge of their own learning. Following his presenation, we discussed these concerns, but identified how important it is to have a critical mass of anxious teachers. Our critical mass is growing each month.
All I can say is that I am very grateful to be working during this time. As Will pointed out...we are in a time period where there is a "tectonic shift" occuring. Isn't it great!
How lucky you are to have had Will Richardson at your Supt. Conf. day! I concur that the "tectonic shift" is occurring, and while it's great, it is also scary.
I think that I've asked this before but I'll ask it again in the hopes of getting more feedback. In terms of teaching and learning with technology in the classroom, do we need to change what we allow in the classroom so teachers feel empowered to bring tools into their classrooms? How can we ensure that teachers have a chance to create their model classrooms and learn from others? Can we find examples of teachers leading by example and explore models for others to follow?
A thought that pops into my head frequently is the question of how to keep students safe on the Internet. While not directly related to the question above, it is quite often a reason that teachers give when asked about why they don't use technology in the classroom. What can we, as educators, do to protect our children from the Internet while allowing them freedom to explore? Is there an age where children can be expected to "learn" about the Internet on their own? I have a middle schooler...I watch her when she is on the Internet. At some point, I will have to allow her the independence to work on her own. How will I know when? Sometimes I wonder where the "What to Expect" book is for her. I read once that said teaching your child about the Internet is like teaching a child how to walk as an infant. In order to allow them opportunities to walk, you must allow them access and help them, watch them, protect them and then...let them go. When my child was an infant, I was more aware of what her needs were. I took steps to make sure she learned what she didn't know, and what she didn't learn from us directly, she learned from observing. When an infant cannot eat on their own, we feed them. This need is clear, babies cry when they are hungry. Their needs are also innate. In order to survive, you need to eat. Apply this to my child now, as my child gets older, her needs are not always so evident. She doesn't cry because she needs milk, she's able to help herself. Her needs as a teen are different, and I must tailor the way I teach her in order for her to learn.
Fast forward to the classroom...think about the many people (not just children) who need help understanding how to use technology. They also need help in how to use it effectively, but most of the time, it is clear. I can show you a white paper, or a journal article, or a research paper to support the use of a technology in a classroom. The larger question is how you use the technology, and build models around it to help others. Showcasing examples is one way...but in terms of helping teachers to understand these tools, how do you create an environment where teachers have opportunities to explore?
To build capacity in a district, how do you build professional development that supports these two populations while they are learning together? To help your teachers, how do you empower them to take charge of their learning? How do you empower your students?
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