A Short Break… December Think-About

I’m taking a break through December and will be back in January. In the meantime, see what Will Richardson has to say about media and civic education:

  “…we have an opportunity right now to engage our students in meaningful participation around the causes they are most interested in. And this is especially apparent as we enter the long stretch to the November presidential elections here in the US (as well as the compelling causes ongoing around the world that students might undertake.)”


Wondering how something as simple as a newspaper has evolved with Web 2.0? Check out David Warlick‘s comments and communication with a reporter regarding the wildfires in San Diego.

Online news (formerly newspapers) don’t just provide NEWS. They provide an area for up to the minute communication. Read on:

What emerged during the wild fires, and was facilitated by the paper’s online presence, was a different kind of news service that was based on information demand and information abundance — and that information was free.”

May’s Think-About

So long, 2006-2007!

The 2006-2007 school year has come to an end. Over the summer, while students are taking their well-needed break, what do you think they’ll be learning? My guess is that those with access to the internet are going to be spending a lot of time on their social networking sites, blogs, instant messaging, podcasting, online gaming… and probably a few things I don’t even know about yet.

The point I continue to make in nearly every post is that we, as educators, need to know what are students are doing and understand what draws them in to those activities. The students we’ll have returning to our classrooms again in the fall are digital natives. We need to teach them in their language (“digital”), and we can’t do that effectively if we live outside that world.

Spend some time this summer learning something new… maybe you’ll read an education blog, or subscribe to a podcast, or start your own MySpace(tm) page! Whatever it is, be sure to keep an open mind about your experience, and try to see the world through your students’ eyes. The digital experience isn’t going away any time soon, and our students will be expected to think, produce, evaluate, and be creative in a digital world. Will you be able to help them?

Have a great summer!

NETA 07- Day Two

Alan November was the keynote this morning, and he talked a lot about Web 2.0. I’m thrilled to see that he is sharing much of the work we do in our Net Detective/Net Savvy and Digital Literacy in-service sessions! I learned a few new tips from Alan to add to our sessions as well.

My favorite part about both sessions I attended with Alan November is that he almost begs educators to be more open-minded about Web 2.0. Of course Wikipedia shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all for resources, but we shouldn’t discount the information it stores just because some “expert” hasn’t blessed it. He notes the “power of the collective” is something our students understand, but our teachers have yet to grasp. Most importantly, November notes that we need to teach our students to be responsible users of technology… we can’t just block them from everything. I wholeheartedly agree, but I think he may have been preaching to the choir at NETA. The majority of attendees feel the same way, but aren’t able to make much progress back at their schools.

If you want to know more about Alan November, check out his site… he’s over in the Blogroll, too.


Another noteworthy session today was led by my good friend, Dan Schmit. Dan’s session was titled, “You Can Do That?!” Dan introduced a lot of fun, new technologies that are available via the web.  Rather than recap it all here, I’ll just point you to his pbwiki page, You Can Do That?!— where he’s listed and briefly described everything he discussed in his session.

I’m off to more sessions… probably won’t post anymore about NETA 2007. I will say, though, that this has been one of the more enjoyable NETA conferences!