Thursday, July 06, 2006

NECC Read/Write Web with Tim Wilson

A moblogged session with Tim Wilson (Director of Technology, Buffalo Hanover Montrose Schools, Minnesota) this Wednesday afternoon is in a large room and we are comfortably seated at round tables. Tim is the Savvy Technologist blogger and podcaster. I have been subscribing to Tim's podcast feed and have found this to be a great source of relevant interviews and material. His recent podcast interview series was with Bernajean Porter of digitales fame and it has given me more insight into the digital storytelling craft. (I am really pleased with my own students and their digital storytelling projects this year.....shameless self-promotion ;-))

Tim has called his session "Introducing the Read/Write Web: Opportunities, Challenges, and Implications". His online links for his talk can be found HERE. Tim is also audio recording and will share this podcast later.

According to Tim this session could have been called Web2.0 if he had proposed the session later than last October!

Challenge: What are the implications if we do not do this??

Opportunities!! "The Internet is the future of technology for schools"

What is Web 2.0: like an OS in that it supports applications. A platform emerging online for doing work!

Examples of Web 2.0:
  • Personal webpage vs weblog (blog is a read/write web page)
  • RSS: information comes to you via subscription
  • Korean newsite and huge OhmyNews
  • Brittanica vs Wikipedia: an online search of both e.g. Hurrican Katrina. Brittanica gave a small amount of information for free. Wikipedia gave a lot and at a good quality and updated live as the hurricane happened. A recent study showed quality of both is about equal.
  • Wikipedia, how to use in a school: e.g. Challenge to create the definite wikipedia article on "The Tale of Despereaux". Bring wikipedia into the classroom by creating projects where students can contribute. [My comment: I see this as valuable....even more valuable as a school resource and a class project is to create your own wiki, I have had success with this using pbwiki.com]
  • Technorati aggregates together all tagged blog posts: great potential for staff development, get teachers to blog and tag so that all can read.
  • Mashups: taking two different things and mashing them together [My comment: haven't looked into this yet...make it a priority after NECC]
  • Audience: writing for a real and potentially large audience. Yes!! [Thanks Tim for reinforcing this concept and promoting publishing online.] Tim: "Every student blogger is a published author".
Challenges with this technology

Keeping kids safe online:
  • Use server side products (comments about MySpace: be careful, can you turn it off, pull the plug??). Keep student work on your server.
  • Monitor what they are doing online
  • Implement a curriculum to teach students about appropriate online behaviour (don't just say it's bad and not use it)
  • Recognize that young people will encounter weirdos online. Get over it. [Thanks Tim! a down to earth approach that promotes online activity along with appropriate behaviour] Audience contribution: isafe.org for educational material
What kind of professional development is needed?
  • "Just in time" rather than "Just in case"
  • Feed the rabbits and starve the snails?? Find your tech champions and give them what they need to go...so they can show by example. Identify and support your champions.
  • Leaders have to lead. Administrators have to be there and leading by example e.g. Dr Tyson and Tim Lauer
How do you assess student work in this environment?
  • Develop or adopt curriculum standards for information literacy [yes!] Look at 21st century skills organisation
  • Develop rubrics that cut across units and classrooms
  • De-emphasize individual assessment [a mixed bag of assessment is what I see as an ideal portfolio: individual, group, self and peer assessment, use of reflection]
How will you ensure equitable access to technology for all learners?
  • Establish a baseline for HW and SW for all classrooms
  • Consider extending the hours of your school's media center and comp. labs: community engagement
  • Have a serious equity conversation in your school
Implications?? (if we don't get this right)
  • Exponential growth.......!!! Go back 10 years.......but now think ahead 10 years....too scary?? No of transisters on a chip: 1996 =6, 2005 =206
  • We are in a relevance race with our students! "Technology is crack for the teenage social mind" The differences between real life and school, avoiding technology is making it harder to make education relevant in schools
  • Marc Prensky: digital immigramts, digital natives "They want to learn in a different way to how we were trained to teach"
  • "What are you doing right now to prepare your students to collaborate seamlessly across cultures in jobs that probably don't exist?" A K-12 school does not have a monopoly on content anymore
Thanks Tim for providing a common sense overview of Web 2.0 and ideas to work with and on from now!

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1 comment:

Vicki A. Davis said...

My students did a great session on mashups on their wiki this past year. It explains and gives examples. They did a great job!