I had a wonderful 2.0 day today!
- Our English classes created wikis to collaborate on podcasting scripts which they will use to report “on the spot” regarding breaking events in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. (More on that later!).
- The media class teacher visited to plan student interviews of faculty veterans and the research necessary to prepare a video we will webcast in honor of Veterans’ Day.
- AP US History is also using wikis to build collaborative answers to critical study questions.
- Another English class is using Flagrant Disregard and original photography to create movie posters to express themes in The Handmaid’s Tale.
My students are learning and they are eager to use the authentic tools now available to them. The excitement in the library today was evident and contagious. I happily ran around this lovely space consulting with students and teachers.
And yet, echoing in my ears was a comment from Angie a couple of days back regarding another of my cheerleading 2.0 posts:
With our new filters in place, we can’t get to site like Flickr or Flagrant Disregard’s Flickr Toys (see Joyce’s post) or several Web 2.0 sites. Several blogs are blocked and the like. The reason for the block, the powers that be say, is that it may not be the part that someone is getting to but several pages within the site that contain inappropriate material that student could to if they are willing to navigate through and find it. I’ve tried to convince the powers with that it is good for students. But all they see is that it can also be abused.
Those of us who can use these tools need to speak up about this inequity. Somehow we need to broadcast the importance of these projects in classrooms. We need to share our ideas–all those possibilities–with those who do not attend NECC or any of the many inspiring technology conferences.
Those who cannot use these tools may need to go over the heads of the less-forward thinking network administrators to the folks at central office who may better understand learning. We may just need to beat our heads against the wall till we figure out a way to jump over it or until we figure a way to get the wall to move. Learners are waiting.
In many districts, people who do not understand 21st century learning or curriculum are making decisions that drive, and seriously limit, our curriculum and our instructional decisions and strategies. They do not have the right to make those decisions. We must find a way to secure our networks and our children while we create engaging instruction using current and emerging communication skills.