School 2.0 – a revolution in learning? Discussions in the blogosphere

Bud the Teacher has an picked up a good point from a thread on David Warlick’s blog.
Here’s what he has to say:

I’ve been having quite intensive discussions

What I am against is the simplistic notion that this technology leads to “School 2.0″ and that it represents a revolution in learning.

    Yeah.  I’m against that, too.  See, while I’ve been participating in and am learning lots from the whole “School 2.0” conversation(s), I find that so often, the presence of technology, to some people, means that the school of the future is here.  But it ain’t.  The technology by itself changes very little.  Having a blog or a podcast or a really neat-o wiki doesn’t mean a thing in terms of school design, school reform, or doing business differently if the underlying philosophies of education don’t change.  Sitting in rows and watching the teacher type on a blog via the projector isn’t a revolution in amazingly new pedagogy — it’s just a really, really expensive use of virtuo-chalk.
    The change comes when we begin to realize the power of sharing the information, of making the walls more transparent.  I think. 
     And I’ve been guilty of that expensive use of tech stuff sometimes, but my larger point is simply that, if all we’ve done at the end of the day with these new fangled tools that have amazing potential is turn them on and blast the old school stuff out into the new school world, well, then we haven’t really done all that much.  Have we?

I’ve been having quite intense discussions with friends, trying to convince them of the whys and hows of blogs, wikis, collaborating via internet, etc. This is what it boils down to: Are the kids smarter if I make use of web 2.0 in the classroom? Will I be a better teacher? Bud’s words are exactly my own thinking. When I started exploring blogs, I was very sceptical, and it wasn’t until I had found a purpose that I feel my students will profit ADDITIONALLY from that I took them to heart.

I’m still exploring, and though I haven’t made any revolutionary steps in with my classes due to blogs, I’m still learning and working on it.
Tools are what the teachers make of them.

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5 Responses

  1. Yes! Like any other tool we use in our classes, we have to be clear about why we are using technology. And I really believe the tech doesn’t do any good if we are just using it to do the same old things in just a slightly different way.

  2. Hi Nancy
    It’s nice to see you here.
    Yes, I think that people that are against using technology in the classroom for teaching haven’t realized the change in thinking and actions necessary for it to really be successful.

    Have a look at:
    http://teaching.mrbelshaw.co.uk/index.php/2007/06/23/coursework-20-an-evaluation/#comment-52728
    for another teacher’s experience. Doug has really come far!!!

  3. Dear Illya,

    I totally agree with you. In fact, yesterday I listened to a presentation by James Farmer on the same topic. Have a look: Technology has to be put to the service of good pedagogical practices. The excitement produced by the latest tools and gadgets will soon fade out, but sound and authentic learning experiences will remain. The wonderful possibility of collaborating and building knowledge with others.

    BTW, I greatly enjoyed Stephen Fry’s video.

    Best regards,

    Carla from Argentina

  4. Hi Carla
    Thanks for the great link and talk by James Farmer. Isn’t he magnificant in his work with web 2.0! I’ll certainly pass the show on to others as well🙂

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