If your schedule today permits, I invite you join educators worldwide in a free webinar sponsored by Technology and Learning and Lightspeed Systems, titled “Opportunities and Challenges for Web 2.0 in Schools.” Presenters/panelists for the webinar include Alan November, Ellen Bialo, Jay Sivin-Kachala and Terrell Tucker. The fun begins at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST. The webinar description is:

Today’s students have grown up with digital technologies at their fingertips. For this generation, using Web 2.0 tools at school can make learning an active rather than passive medium, which enriches the learning process. With Web 2.0 technologies students can collaborate with others, create projects, communicate the results to a real audience, and receive valuable feedback. Web 2.0 tools can enhance teaching opportunities and better equip students with the 21st-century skills necessary for their future.

But because these web-based technologies can mean security challenges and content issues, many schools shy away from providing them on district networks. Attend this informative webinar to hear an expert’s analysis of the advantages and dangers of Web 2.0, find out the results of this national survey, discover innovative strategies for balancing learning and safety, and hear a real-world story of how one district has effectively implemented Web 2.0 tools in the classroom.

Register online for free to attend. After you register, you’ll be prompted to test your browser and computer system. If you’re running a Mac, make sure you are using FireFox rather than Safari.

I’m going to use CoverItLive again (as I did last week for our Oklahoma dropout summit) to live-blog the event, and I invite you to join in the discussion, note taking, and backchannel chat there. You can use the embedded window below to link into the live blog when the event starts at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST today. In addition, you can post tweets with the hashtag #web2opps0309 and they will be included in the live blog test stream. This is a feature of CoverItLive (to integrate a specific hashtag’s twitter posts dynamically) which I haven’t used before, and I’ll be trying for the first time. Remember everything that is posted in the chat (and is approved for sharing) will be archived for others to view both during the live event and later. Please add links to referenced resources and related websites during the webinar: Having live links to use after an event like this can be one of the best aspects of live-blog coverage, IMHO. This can be make the CoverItLive archive into more useful participant-generated shownotes.

Related to today’s webinar, I’m happy to announce a new collaborative project I’m titling “Unmasking the Digital Truth.”

Unmasking the Digital Truth

The project goals are:

The goal of this collaborative wiki is to “unmask the digital truth” with respect to the reasons some leaders today are overfiltering and overblocking web 2.0 sites in schools and libraries, and provide reasonable alternatives which support broader student and teacher access to these sites. A basic level of content filtering is required in the United States for schools and libraries receiving federal E-Rate funding, and the purpose of this project is NOT to argue against all forms of content filtering in all situations. In some cases, however, educational leaders are obfuscating the issues relating to content filtering and access to web 2.0 websites in schools. This wiki seeks to unmask those reasons to provide facts, options and alternatives for community leaders interested in promoting broader access to web 2.0 tools in schools

As we discuss “Opportunities and Challenges for Web 2.0 in Schools,” I’m hopeful this collaborative wiki will grow and serve as a useful tool to help advocate for the constructive and effective integration of web 2.0 technologies into formal learning settings in our schools. If you contribute in any way to this project, please add your name and blog/twitter info to the contributors page on the wiki.

Hope to see you in today’s webinar! :-)

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