Classroom 2.0 Educators Share Their Experiences
Don't miss this article by Steve Hargardon in the new School Library Journal:
Blogs, wikis, podcasting, social networks… it seems the entire world has gone 2.0 crazy. Among the followers are educators, who, in ever increasing numbers, are integrating these online, interactive tools into their classrooms and yes, even libraries.
In these profiles, you’ll meet a few of these ordinary, in-the-trenches folks—just like you—who have taken the plunge, launching blogs, signing on to social networks, and stepping up to the podcast mic in order to create innovative learning opportunities that encourage collaboration as never before. While these innovators range widely in their experience and comfort level with technology, every one’s a part of Classroom 2.0 (classroom20.ning.com), a social network for educators exploring new technologies
This article and its accompanying graphics are incredible:
The profiles include images, and little "social network-like" details, such as Nancy's best friend Jackson Browne. This enhances the social connection. If this were online, Nancy might find that school kids hat had a dog or beloved pet might seek her out to chat about animals.
Hurrah for sharing favorites as well -- Project Runway, favorite reads, etc. Note that the links in the profiles WORK - providing more information on each educator.
The last profile features Barbara Barreda, a school principal: Critical to our success has been taking time to build a common vision and understanding. Each month, for example, we hold a “technology playground,” in which teachers explore a variety of basic literacy skills, including effective Web searches, site validity, blogs, and more. From an administrative perspective, it’s essential to provide every opportunity to reduce the teachers work load that allows them the time to explore. My job is to help them sort the important from the urgent, to empower them to try new technologies and to be willing to join them in the trenches.
I would urge the teachers and teacher librarians who may be struggling inside schools and schools systems that don't allow access to social tools to use this article as a discussion starter that may help break those barriers down. Well done to Hargardon and the folks at School Library Journal.
(Disclaimer: I saw a bit of this issue and article last week while visiting the offices of SLJ. I flipped for it then and urge you to take a look.)