At last, a VERY encouraging headline about digital social networking in schools! According to Thursday’s article “Seattle Public Schools builds social-learning site for its tech-savvy teens” the district has rolled out its own website for encouraging safe and appropriate read/write sharing by students in the school district. The site is called L3RN:
Similar to the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube, L3RN offers a way for students and teachers at schools around the district to post and share videos, listen to podcasts, even read Shakespeare’s plays, via computer, cell phone or iPod.
The L3RN tool has amazing potential for students, teachers and schools, said Ramona Pierson, who heads the district’s department of education technology and oversaw the creation of L3RN.
Schools can create “channels” where they can showcase their best student work, such as class projects and school newspapers, she said. Teachers at schools at opposite ends of the city could develop lessons together. The district could begin offering online classes, or post videos of teacher-training sessions or School Board meeting
Yeah Seattle schools! More school district leaders need to pay attention and follow this lead. We must help our students learn to safely navigate the diverse pathways of the 21st century information landscape, just as we help them learn to use other tools like the AUTOMOBILE. The leaders of Seattle Public schools are powerfully demonstrating their understanding of this imperative by creating and supporting L3RN for district learners and community constituents.
Access the L3RN site to learn more and see videos from teachers as well as students.
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