These are my notes to the “Classsroom 2.0: What Is Web 2.0’s Role in Schools?” at NECC 2009. This was a panel discussion. I captured the entire backchannel for this session as a PDF file. Thanks to Vicki Davis for setting up the backchannel in Chatzy!
Julie Lindsey: I covet the learning connections and networks which I make now as a result
Darren Draper: I use the Internet as an extension of my brain
– is this a passing fad or a sea change? How big of a change is it?
– it has potential to be a sea change, but if we just focus on tools it won’t amount to much
– citing article “Have you considered the Internet as literacy, as a context for reading, writing and communication”
– those things are timeless and we understand as
– better to talk about a new context to read, write and communicate, rather than talking about “web 2.0 tools”
– the notion of a collaborative, participatory culture is definitely out of the box
– no one is going to give that up once they’ve realized/experienced it
– first step is to define web 2.0
– dictionary would say: a very specific way webpages handle entry and access
– what we have done is expanded the definition
– that is dangerous because we’ve expanded the meaning, to the point now that it can be meaningless
– evidence pointing to the idea it’s not a passing fad: this panel
– we have public and private, U.S. based and international
– audience, is it here to stay or passing fad?
Audience: “Here to stay”
MY THOUGHT: HOPEFULLY THAT IS NOT THE INTELLECTUAL DEPTH OF THE CONVERSATION WE ARE GOING TO HAVE HERE. (I.E. WEB 2.0 IS COOL. WITH THE PANEL HERE I KNOW THAT WILL NOT BE THE CASE, THIS IS GOING TO BE A GREAT CONVERSATION
– we need a defined pedagogical conversation about this
– should focus on the skills: writing and collaboration, not the tools
– the tools are going to come and go
– web 2.0 has changed how people change their strategies for instruction in the classroom
– allows you to communicate, collaborate and create at different levels
– is transforming what we can do in the classroom
– web 2.0 focus can bring in sharing, collaboration, and digital citizenship which may not be on our state core curriculum standards yet
– we are having those conversations throughout our school community
– we focus on intersection of literacy and technology, and what that means
– I like to ask, “What does it mean to be well educated in the 21st century?”
– we have moved away from information fluency, information literacy
– what does it mean for instruction when we are focusing on what it means to be well educated today?
– what changes does that invite/require in curriculum and assessment?
– transformation is taking ideas from Dewey, Connectivism ideas from Siemans, is a new paradigm
– what do these things mean for how we teach and learn?
– interesting that I learned about Michael Jackson’s death via Twitter first
– our students are learning with these tools NOW whether we like it or not
– it makes sense to integrate and implement those technologies in the ways we teach
– we have to fill the vacuum with appropriate ways to use these tools, or students will fill the void with inappropriate ways
– we need to point out the glib ways web 2.0 tools are sometimes “claimed” to be used (SMARTboards are not web 2.0 tools)
– ask “how is that student centered?” and “how does that empower the child?”
– web 2.0 can enable that renegotiation of the relationship between students and teachers
MY THOUGHT: AREN’T WE TIRED OF SAYING “IT’S NOT ABOUT THE TOOLS YET?!”
– why do we need to have a Ning workshop to use Ning?
I AGREE WITH THAT. CELEBRATE OKLAHOMA VOICES IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF USING TOOLS CONTEXTUALLY TO ACCOMPLISH A TASK.
Workshop on “here’s how to use this tool” is less powerful than a workshop on “here is a core value of our school, and here is a way we can/are using tools to accomplish that” is better
– what do you do when the walls around you become permeable
– this is a climate and culture issue
– how comfortable is the school letting students step outside those walls as they produce and publish content
– connections for schools begin locally
– learning community begins first, not just in a social way but also in an academic way
THIS REMINDS ME OF THE GORE-TEX CLASSROOM ANALOGY I DEVELOPED AWHILE BACK. GOOD METAPHOR.
– our kids need mentors. badly. We need to be and provide mentors for our kids
– you can’t convince others with words about the value of web 2.0 tools
– there is not a way to fight this in terms of trying to fight liability fears directly
– best way is to make these models of success as visible as possible
I ABSOLUTELY AGREE. AMPLIFYING SUCCESSES IS THE KEY. EXAMPLES ARE THE KEY.
– this is a school community issue
– this involves a group we don’t talk with often: the kids
– recently asked adults at a panel about how many have recently had conversations with their kids about what they know, are doing, etc online
– simple things we don’t yet do: it’s mind boggling every school in America doesn’t have a listserv of all parents to send out the daily announcements
– we wrote a Moodle hack so parents could go to our website and find out the homework each day
– at EduCon conference we have students
– give students small reasons/steps to come into the school
– going from “I grew up in this community” to “my kids at school are talking to someone in Belize” is a huge leap
– sometimes the horrible, legal AUP is the only thing we send home to parents
– messaging of technology has to be positive, constant, to the students
– if you are not bringing your students in as allies, you need to
– if kids are going home with the message you want to send, that will trump your AUP every time
– asking what kind of efforts we are doing to try and teach our parents
THAT IS A GREAT QUESTION. SOMEONE SUGGESTED DOING SMALL, SHORT COFFEE CHATS FOR PARENTS AT SCHOOL VIA THE PTO/PTA.
– we have a teaching parents Ning
– helping parents make informed decisions
– At SLA we have a culture of laptops up / laptops down in class, we have talked about whether we need to do that at times in faculty meetings
– what do we want our kids to be able to do, and what tools can harness their ability to do those things?
– to assume that kids don’t already have a backchannel in their heads already is a mistake
– having kids communicate about what they are doing, and the classroom experience, is a way to harness some of those energies
– often kids are buzzing in their heads and much of formal education is going over their heads now
Very impassioned comments by a participant (name I don’t know)
– point was: find tools LATER AFTER you set your goals
– disagree with the message “you have to use blogs, you have to use wikis”
Someone else: we are putting up walls now with laptop screens
– we are focused on teaching communication skills, students are communicating with each other, organizations in our local community
– last year was “Change the World” project, last year was “Change Philadelphia” project, based on “think globally, act locally” mantra
– this today is not a classroom, this is an experiment
– I have seen this (backchanneling) work extremely well in classrooms, in conferences (for Flat Classroom conference), in different languages
– when you have a backchannel you need to have a moderator
THIS IS A COMMENT I MADE IN THE BACKCHANNEL:
I really push back on this idea that “we should never talk about the TOOLS.” It is ok to talk about the tools at times. We start with an awareness level knowledge of tools, move to a personal use, then go to the instructional level of use, both taking other’s ideas and inventing our own. It is a process. It is ok to talk about the tools. We shouldn’t feel guilty talking about the tools, esp with people who are not familiar with them AT ALL.
Jakes quoting Lehmann: “What is the worst consequence of your best idea?”
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