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  1. Ken Allan July 13, 2008 at 4:38 pm |

    Kia ora Britt!

    Thanks for this post. I also enjoyed lurking on your previous post 🙂

    It is curious how things are panning out. With the now burgeoning varieties of Web 2.0s, the need seems to be moving towards some way of getting the majority walking in step, so to speak. As long as there is enthusiasm for novelty in application (that’s what innovators & early adopters seem to enjoy) there is going to be difficulties with establishing general unity of approach and the spreading of the word. There has been a similar difficulty in recent years with so-called connectivity and for reasons not too different.

    Teachers are individuals, often particularly individualistic. They’re all innovators (not necessarily in e-tech) in their own way, with a lot of energy for that innovation. This makes them an extremely fertile lot.

    The only way found, so far, to have universal growth is to plant the whole field with one type of seed and wait for the crop. Provided there are not too many weeds, the crop may be worth harvesting.

    Way back in the early 80s, the New Zealand Dept of Ed gave a directive to schools to buy whatever computers were available according to their budgets. This generated a lot of enthusiasm but the effect was a rapid deadlock when it came to sharing what innovators had adopted. It took almost 10 years for this to be recognised and remedied. This was done by standardising equipment in schools, before networking and sharing could be seen as a possibility. The net effect was loss of time and money.

    I think we have a similar situation here, with similar causes bringing about similar effects.

    There are 2 main themes that your posts and their comments brought to my mind:

    unity of approach – and that means some unity of software type used (or at least unity in connectivity) – a standardisation of sorts, if you like

    spreading the word – and that has to be rapid enough to make a significant impact initially – it involves a raft of ed and training issues.

    Ka kite

  2. Mike Parent July 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |

    Britt,

    This year I taught faculty members Web 2.0 tools in hopes that the fire would catch on and they would become excited and begin using these tools with their students. But before I began teaching the tools, I assessed what tools would be useful and not just cool to use. I settled on Google Docs, del.iciou.us, Ning, Skype, and Voicethread.

    I taught these “Lunch Time Tech” sessions to anyone who wanted to attend. I had about 12 faithful teachers/students who were really fascinated with the tools. But I asked them at the end of each session, So What? I wanted them to ask themselves what is was useful for.

    I managed to ignite at least four persons desires to learn more. I must say, the collaborative tools were much more useful and palatable for the teachers. The jury is still out on Voicethread and Skype (though I do need to do more with these).

    To answer your essential question, we must show teachers that they can use these tools to make their work time more efficient and less cumbersome. We must use the language of “add and delete”, not simply just “add”. The last thing a teacher wants is more to learn and do… we should show them tools that will enable them to add it to their toolbox and at the same time, delete something old fashioned and less efficient. It works for me.

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