Those fundamental tools of the read/write web have made this fall semester very interesting in our overly-large school district.
In those few months, the discussion among the people who set edtech policy in our system has basically moved from ignoring Web 2.0 to how (whether) the system can support their use in the schools.
The discussions at the various meetings have been very interesting. Maybe one or two other people in room actually blog or podcast, but that’s to be expected.
However, it’s pretty clear that most of those around the table are not regular readers/listeners.
More than a few probably subscribe to the remark by one person from our IT department, something to the effect that there are 50 million blogs but only eight have any useful information.
So, as we continue to educate our colleagues about the read/write web, it seems one of the first points to get across is that our control over determining what is “useful” is slipping away.
Useful is now in the mind of the user.
As you might expect, one of the big concern in all these meetings is a concern for student safety and that will always be an important concern.
But it’s hard to explain to people who believe in web filters the fact that we need to teach students how to communicate with people outside the walls of their classroom.
And that can’t be done without them having at least some access to the outside world.
I think most of the “technology leaders” sitting in these session at least understand that they are already behind some teachers and far behind many students in their understanding of how the new web works.
That, and the fact we are having serious discussions on the topic means we are at least moving forward, offers me some optimism as we head into the new year.
Maybe we can pick up a little speed in 2007.