In my recent presentations and workshops for teachers and librarians titled, “A Summer Of Professional Learning Choices for Educators! Where Should I Start?” I have enjoyed introducing teachers to the Classroom 2.0 learning network.
With over 8000 current members as of this writing, Classroom 2.0 is a fantastic place for teachers to make connections with other educators across their state or providence, or across the globe! Joining and utilizing an online learning community like Classroom 2.0 is one of the best ways to help teachers personally experience and therefore understand the learning and collaboration potentials latent within the web 2.0 tools now at our fingertips.
Today when I checked my Diigo account, I saw I had four new friend requests. This is not an unusual ocurrance, since more and more educators are discovering and using Diigo, but it did seem remarkable that these four requests were from educators in four different countries in different parts of our world: from China, the United States, Israel, and Honduras.
This simple event is absolutely amazing, when I stop to think about it. The fact that free tools now exist which permit me, as an educator, to connect with the thoughts, ideas, and work of others located in different parts of the planet is both exciting and extremely difficult to comprehend. This type of capacity to directly connect and communicate (essentially for free, because it can be done at zero cost beyond what I have already spent to be connected online) has not existed in any previous era of human history. As our digital information landscape continues to morph and dynamically change before our eyes, I marvel that events like this can take place at all.
I continue to struggle with a strategy to help educational leaders in my own community experience and understand these powerful, constructive potentials of read/write web technologies. This evening driving to dinner, I had what may be an epiphany. Rather than ask to meet with administrative staff leaders, write letters, or organize a campaign of advocacy on a broad scale, I think it might be more effective to directly help members of our local school board to setup their own personal blogs and then utilize them to communicate regularly with constituents. I’ve previously read about Larry Lessig’s advocacy for blogging in higher education and government law circles, which he has done by helping others setup and use a personal blog. I think his example in this context is an excellent one to follow.
I am going to try this tactic. Personally experiencing the connective power and potential of web 2.0 is the key to understanding, or at least glimpsing, the reasons why we need to empower our students and teachers to utilize these tools regularly as part of their regular learning activities of the day. Will such a path result in changed hearts and minds about blogs, wikis, and other social networking tools in my own school community? I don’t know. Besides continuing to work on our statewide “Celebrate Oklahoma Voices” project (because “it matters” at so many different levels) this idea of helping board members setup and use personal blogs seems like the most practical course of advocacy moving forward in my own school community.
I’ll be sure to “report in” on my progress as I embark on this new pathway of local advocacy for “the learning revolution.”
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If you're trying to listen to a podcast episode and it's not working, check this status page. (Wes is migrating his podcasts to Amazon S3 for hosting.) Remember to follow Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wesley's Facebook pages for "Speed of Creativity Learning" and his eBook, "Playing with Media." Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Mapping Media to the Common Core / Curriculum."
On this day..
- Inspiration from a Navy Seal (William McRaven) and NBA Player (Caron Butler) - 2014
- Controversy Surrounds OKCPS Transfer Rejections for ClassenSAS - 2013
- Migrating Podcasts from a Web Host to Amazon S3 - 2013
- Gotta Keep Learning! Video Remix by Steed Elementary Students in Oklahoma - 2011
- Painting with LED Light Pens and Sidewalk Chalk - 2010
- We've come so far, so fast - And we need more digital witnesses in the Oklahoma panhandle! - 2009
- Reflections on IQ, cognitive development, and distributed learning - 2008
- A science fair project changing the world? - 2008
- Diigo difficulties - 2008
- links for 2008-05-27 - 2008