Sunday, April 15, 2007

Meandering Thoughts...

Compulsory education in the United States began 155 years ago in 1852. A Massachusetts law required that all young people between the ages of 8 and 14 attend school three months a year — unless, that is, they could demonstrate that they already knew the material; in other words, this law was competency-based. It took 15 years before any other states followed Massachusetts’ lead and 66 years before all states did.
This is the cultural norm now. Workshops, conferences, church services, concerts are all set up with many people facing in one direction, listening to a speaker for a definite period of time. This is what is meant by Web 1.0. It's traditional. It's familiar. It is how school is done. In contrast, Web 2.0 is the antithesis of such seat-time rewards. By definition, it is differentiating instruction for every learner. It is competency based. It is educating learners where they are, whether that is a 2nd grade reading level or a college reading level.
Somehow, we educators have to prepare parents and students to embrace Web 2.0 because it is here and it won't go away. We have to get away from the expectation that a student receives a high school diploma because they attended high school for four years and have 30 credits (I don't even know how many it should be - can anyone tell me?)
The technology at our disposal right now can help us educate students, differentiating their educations, prescribing programs just for them. Technology is not separate from education, it is an integral tool.
I think we would all agree that good teaching results in learning. Integrating technology into the curriculum is just good teaching. Because we want students to learn, we use good teaching, sometimes called best practices. The tech tools that can be integrated into your curriculum right now include blogging, using wikis, podcasting, webcasting, virtual gaming, and a lot more.
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Drussell said...

Great post. Now, how do we get all the teachers to step off the familiar plank and dive into the unknown world of web 2.0?


Durff said...

When you figure that one out, tell me before you write that bestselling book!
I'm trying to crystallize thoughts to present to teachers who are paralyzed by fear.