School 2.0: Where I am

In response to David Warlick’s post on School 2.0 (which deserves a reading), I left this comment more in response to some of the responses he generated. Specifically, two responders who pointed out that David was speaking to an already converted crowd, one that had already begun implementing School 2.0. But what about teachers who are in the classrooms who do not have the luxury of mining the internet in search of not only the tools, but also implementation strategies. As one of the lucky “miners,” I take the responsibility of bringing these tools and strategies to my staff very seriously. Here are the responses (comments shortened): .

From Em:

I’m doing a seven-part series with my staff this year on Web 2.0 tools. Trust me, they are stunned and amazed at blogs, have never heard of wikis, assume that podcasts are the same as iTunes, and were blown away yesterday by my discussion of RSS and social bookmarking as tools for organizing. We are barely into the second wave of adopters. We’ve got quite a ways to go before these tools are familiar and comfortable with the majority of educators.

From Candace:

Em is right. They do NOT know what wikis are. They have heard the word “blog” but have no idea why it has anything to do with school, and have not heard the term “web 2.0.” Even attorneys and professors I meet professionally say, “what’s that.” …I am not criticizing you, just pointing out the inevitable social nature of web 2.0 proponents– that you (we) do converse among ourselves so well that we forget about others who are not even in the room. We all need to be more aware of the LARGE group of teachers/general public who are not “there yet.”

My response:

Your post, I see has resonated in two ways: those who have adopted and are applying, and those who are adopting and trying to convert. I fall into the convert category, but let me just describe briefly my experience with Web 2.0 tools in the classroom, more specificially, wikispaces.

Since January 1st, I have helped 8 teachers begin their own wikis for class projects, and each of them, to the person, has responded with a gasp after the first night that their students were active on the site. One of the teachers termed it an “explosion” of student activity.

For Em and Candace from above: get the teachers on and let them play, then unleash the students. When your staff sees how much these technologies extend the classroom, they will want more of it. My advice is to publicize your successes as well. As a former teacher, I know that when I saw other teachers doing cool things, I wanted in as well. To be so bold, check out our district tech blog at http://techdossier.blogspot.com. You will find our teacher’s wikis there too.

As with many of the technology that we’ve brought into the classroom in the last 20 years, it will all become cliched, but what I like about David’s diagram’s are the ways in which they reflect “real” learning. Social learning, connectivism, and multiple intelligences all fit very well into the model of school 2.0 that David suggests here.

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