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Monday, December 04, 2006

Web 2 goes mainstream? (And how to get your class in the Web 2 wonderland video)



My jaw hit the floor today when I saw the article passed along by my good Canadian friend Sharon Peters. It is entitled: Futurist: To Fix education think Web 2.

In case you haven't noticed, Web 2 is about to become THE HOT topic in education for all disciplines. Many of us are noticing more "mainstream" articles on this every day spurred on by the fact that KIDS LOVE IT and are responding educationally in ways that all good educators dream of.

My students worked ALL weekend on their flat classroom projects, for goodness sakes! Teenagers on a Saturday morning? What!?

The article highlights the opinions of leading scientist, Seely Brown. Listen to this!

"Seely Brown argued that education is going through a large-scale transformation toward a more participatory form of learning.

Rather than treat pedagogy as the transfer of knowledge from teachers who are experts to students who are receptacles, educators should consider more hands-on and informal types of learning. These methods are closer to an apprenticeship, a farther-reaching, more multilayered approach than traditional formal education, he said.

In particular, he praised situations where students who are passionate about specific topics study in groups and participate in online communities.

"We are learning in and through our interactions with others while doing real things," Seely Brown said. "I'm not saying that knowledge is socially constructed, but our understanding of that knowledge is socially constructed.""

And the pendulum swings.

I just hope that educators put on their "thinking caps" and do not rush to implement the technology for technology's sake.

A student doesn't become smarter when they brush up to a blog any more than they would become smarter if they rubbed Einstein's furry grey head! It is when they interact with it (and the global audience and peers) in a meaningful, purposeful way that they learn.

Such interactions must have a planned, meaningful, curricular purpose and be supervised by vigilant teachers who are willing to use teachable moments to instruct and correct.

Wow2 Live Show Tomorrow!

In keeping with this article, we've got some great WOW2 skypecasts planned for you:

December 5 - The Power of Web 2 in education

Sharon Peters, Jennifer Wagner, Cheryl Oakes, and Vicki Davis

Focus:

How Web 2 is transforming the educational experience in classrooms / schools. The tools that teachers and administrators should investigate.

We will talk about What Web 2 "is" to us as classroom educators. We will talk about our response to the article. Then, we'll share our views of Web 2 as seen as the recent conferences we've attended. We'll discuss collaborative Web 2 projects and then give an update on the flatclassroom project that is receiving a lot of press. Finally, we will conclude with "Wham Bam Web 2.0" and go through as many Web 2 sites as we can share in the latter portion of the show.

This is LIVE tomorrow night at 9 PM EST and will stream live on worldbridges channel 1 (at the edtechtalksite. Now, to really enjoy it - go to edtechtalk and enter the chat room. We'll also have a skypecast, but you'll have to search for that when it is time to start, just search for women of web 2. (If you're having trouble, meebo me in the post below.)

Then, mark your calendars:

Next Week - December 12 - David Warlick and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach -

These two Web 2 technology-teaching dynamos are incredible! We'll discuss the k12 conference as well as how they see technology being used to transform education.

December 19 - Leslie Fisher -

She is the techno-gadget girl who will keep you in stitches. We're working on the agenda, but I know we plan on discussing some of the greatest gadgets and gear out there.

I'll be on TechPodZone this week

Also, this week, I'm going to guest with the hilarious guys on the on the TechPodZone to talk about blogs and wikis in the classroom. These podcast and Powerschool experts, want to talk about how to get their classrooms involved in wikis and blogs, so it should be a good show for beginners. (Won't be live but it will be posted either some time after our Wednesday afternoon taping.)


Update on Flat Classroom Project

Julie and I are learning a lot and when we're done, we plan to share a lot of information about what we've learned. Meanwhile, the focus of my time has been spent working with Julie, and our shared group of students via skype, e-mail, and a multitude of methods.

This is a great learning experience and I predict that at least half of these projects are going to blow you away with their depth of research and knowledge. As with all good Web 2 projects, I am learning as much as they are. Kudos to Julie. She is my hero.

This is definitely the type of project that is best as a cumulative assessment and not for those who want to leave work at 3:30 and be done. With 11 (or 13 hours time difference depending on which way you go around the globe!) we often chat at 6:30 a.m. or 9 pm my time so we can talk "live."

My students often come to my room at 7:30 a.m. and have installed skype at home so that they can communicate with their partners in Bangladesh.

More on that later. I could go on all night! (But then I couldn't work on the project, could I?)

How you can get into the Web 2 Wonderland Video

Finally, I've got a group of students that are working with me to produce a video entitled Web 2 Wonderland.

If you would like your classroom to have a photo included - upload it to Flickr and tag it Web2wonderland -- make sure to put some text ON THE PHOTO with your school, class, and a very brief description of what you are doing in the photo. We'd like to have a great video on youtube highlighting the many ways that educators are using Web 2. So get out there, and get some photos! (We'll do our best to include as many as possible.)

On a personal note:

Hey, this blog has its one year birthday on December 9th. I don't know how to celebrate that sort of birthday. What do you think?

Remember, keep the faith. Learn from your personal learning network. Do you best to keep a positive attitude and remember that those who are truly excellent keep teaching until the last day! In this competitive world we as educators must remember that every day is a gift to both our students and to us as their teachers.

You can tell the great educators this season - they are the one's who are still teaching and not just goofing off! (And they find a way to have fun too!)

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