Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Opportunities and Challenges for Web 2.0 in Schools

Today at CES (Cooperative Educational Services) I joined Natalie Carrignan, Director of Instructional Technology, at a meeting for many technology coordinators. Before the official meeting we were part of a live 1-hour Technology and Learning Webinar, sponsored by Lightspeed Systems with several excellent presenters:
Alan November, an expert in educational technology, discussed the opportunities for creating communities of learners and enhancing education in the 21st century. He advocated going beyond the techno-centric and suggested creating 6 new learning jobs for students that parallel the changes in our culture: Daily Researcher, Curriculum Researcher, Global Communicator, Tutorial Designer, Curriculum Reviewer, and Daily Scribe.

Ellen Bialo and Jay Sivin Kachala from the research firm IESD (Interactive Educational Systems Design) discussed the results of a new survey of technology directors and what the implications of those findings are for school districts around the United States. (Survey is available.)

They found that the 3 reasons that districts utlize web 2.0 technologies are:
  1. address students’ individual learning needs
  2. engage students' interest
  3. increase students' options
In the survey they broke Web 2.0 into 7 categories:
  1. Student-generated online content
  2. Teacher-generated online content
  3. Online social networking used as part of instruction
  4. Online learning games and simulations
  5. Student use of virtual learning environments
  6. Multimedia resources (podcast video cast)
  7. Online communication with parents & students outside school hours
Terrrell Tucker, director of IT services in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District in California, presented details of what the staff do to create a professional learning community. Collaboration is promoted through the use of Web 2.0 tools. Access to filtered material is provided to teachers who can override the block by selecting a time frame to use the material, and entering a username and password. An educational video library has been created by teachers for use in the learning community.
The webinar was a great preface to a meeting that focused on several issues, including the use of web 2.0 technologies in schools and the impact this is having on district acceptable use policies.

The original event was broadcast on:
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Time: 1:00 PM EDT
Duration: 60-minutes


You can view the event archive at the link provided above.

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