Archives For web 2.0

At the most recent meeting of the Minnesota Education Media Organization Technology Special Interest Division (I couldn’t resist writing that out) I learned about a cool professional development opportunity called 23 Things On a Stick. Curious about the name? If you’ve visited the Minnesota State Fair you’d know how we in Minnesota love things on a stick.

The 23 Things… program is a largely self-paced set of tutorials intended for teachers and library folks in Minnesota who want to learn more about Web 2.0 tools. The “Things” include RSS, photosharing, collaboration, social media, online productivity, online gaming, podcasts, video, and social networking. Each participant is required to maintain a blog for the duration of the project to foster reflection and interaction with other participants.

I’d like to see someone turn the 23 Things program into a Moodle course that can be distributed to any school that is using Moodle for professional development. (“23 Things On a Stick” is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Creative Commons license.) Any takers?

The Blue Skunk himself put in an appearance at this year’s TIES conference. Doug is presenting about the social web and some issues that schools encounter trying to understand it. Doug’s handouts are posted on his blog. In particular, a large list of links are on this PDF version of his session handout.

Key points from Doug’s talk:

  • Checking out blogsafety.com for a bit of a reality check regarding online predators and cyberbullies. (Note: it looks like they’ve changed their site and have moved to ConnectSafely.)
  • Some of our concerns in the Web 1.0 world about protecting students from content that they might find has been replaced by Web 2.0 concerns about what kind of content students might publish.
  • How do you decide what to publish on your blog: praise locally; complain globally. Complain all you want about educational issues, but do it in a global sense. Don’t complain about your boss or school on your blog. Your employer can discipline you for it in some cases. Keep you comments about what’s going on in your school positive and highlight the good stuff.
  • If you must block access to resources, do it on the basis of content and not format. You don’t block all magazines from your school because Penthouse is published in magazine form.

How can we teach kids to use this technology appropriately?

  • Articulate and demonstrate values
  • Reinforce positive behaviors
  • Discuss issues
  • Emphasize principles rather than rules
  • Assessment
  • Create low temptation environments that promote effective supervision
  • Chance to practice in low-risk settings

Doug suggests forming a advisory committee for district technology. I’ve got a group of teachers and parents, but they focus on tech integration issues exclusively. I could really use a group that would help me deal with policy issues. I’ll have to talk him some more about it.