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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Classroom 2.0: Fad or Fact -- Pluto may have our answer



New Technologies are a Cherry on the Cake?

Ewan MacIntosh makes an amazing statement:

The arguments that new technologies are just a fad, a cherry on the cake, an added extra, a bolt-on, a treat, something we can pass by, nothing that a good PowerPoint can't supersede, nothing that a textbook hasn't achieved until now, nothing that our best exam factory schools can't do without... all of this is just keich. The teachers touting this must wake up to the fact that they are not engaging their kids unless they do use these technologies, the ones the kids use. Moreover, they're not really preparing them how to cope with the information being passed over to them unless they teach how to manipulate and analyze that information with these tools.
So, then, I consider this in light of the discussions going on in Internet-connected classrooms around the World about Pluto no longer being considered a planet.

How long will it take for the Pluto decision to filter to the average classroom?

I have to say: what an amazing case study this would make for a Web 2.0 researcher! If I were a researcher I would ask these questions:
  • How long does it take for this information to get into the classroom?
  • Is there a difference in the average time it takes for the information to get into classrooms between Internet-connected teachers and non-Internet connected teachers?
  • How long does it take for this information to get into textbooks?
  • How long does it take for those textbooks to get into classrooms?
  • How long is misinformation taught to students as a result of the "information float" on this topic?
With information changing at an accelerated pace, I think the case for wiki-supplementation and wiki-publication can be made. This could ensure that more accurate information is included but could also make student's heads spin as a chapter changes while they are studying it.

It is more important than ever for students to become effective Internet citizens.
It is important for our future and our ability to adapt and change that students become participators in educational dialog.

Meanwhile, Kathy Sierra's recent post about why companies spend so much money on "marketing" and so little on effective user manuals and materials that are truly engaging resonates with me.

I think we also spend a lot of time and resources on the "fluff" when we should be putting the money into where it really makes a difference: improving the student experience in the classroom.

What about creating passionate students?

Creating students who have opinions and the ability to back them up! Students who are able to discuss such issues as the Pluto debate and add meaning and insight.

Students who then are able to post their epiphanies for even the experts to read as they peruse blogs on the Internet.

Students who can seamlessly move from video, audio, and text creation in meaningful ways and become more engaged as a result.

Students who can discern the authority of Internet sources and form their own opinion.

Harnessing student intellect in Classroom 2.0

No one has the corner on good ideas. Sometimes the best ideas come from those unfettered by jargon and preconception. Harnessing students in Classroom 2.0 will not only improve the student's lives but we'll learn something as well.

Classroom 2.0 isn't a fad, it is a fact. It is what is needed to engage students, to excite them, and to engage them in discussions that will take their entire lives to complete.

Child prodigy will take on a whole new meaning. Now, amazing child musicians play at Carnegie Hall. Soon, science prodigies will interact with experts through Classroom 2.0 and promote innovation and change and perhaps even new discoveries!

These are the things that students will come back and thank you for.

I predict that these new Classroom 2.0 technologies of blogs, wikis, podcasts, vodcasts, video -making, social networking, and Internet safety skills will be the "thank you's" you will receive tomorrow.

So keep going.

This work is very important and very underappreciated and misunderstood.

My Dad always says that if everyone says its a good idea, you're already too late to be cutting edge.

Must be perfect timing for us edubloggers, huh? Keep the faith!

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