Do our teachers really know the potential of Web 2.0?
John from My Other Blog visited my city (Perth, Western Australia – he is from the East coast of Australia – Geelong, Victoria) last week to attend the 2007 World Conference on Science and Technology Education. His reflection on the conference was interesting – I believe he said there was about 1000 participants – but very low attendances at Web 2.0 sessions (Intro to Web 2.0 had 20 people; workshop setting up blogs aand wikis had 4 people; podcasting had 23 people). Of those that attended the sessions only 4 people had previous experience with blogs and podcasts.
In his reflections he ponders does this mean the majority of participants at the conference already knew about the potential of Web 2.0. Unfortunately like John I believe that most of the participants had no idea what is Web 2.0 or what are blogs, podcasts or wikis – hence how can they understand the potential.
How can we get our teachers to use Web 2.0 if they have no idea what it is about? Maybe we need to tackle showing people the potential of Web 2.0 differently; if our intended audience does not relate to terms like Web 2.0, podcasts, wikis, blogs then we need to think about what terms they would relate to so that they can learn about the potential of Web 2.0.
How can we hope for our kids to use blogs, wikis, podcasts etc at school if we can not get the message across to their teachers. Are your kids missing out – like mine?
[Image by lynetter)
3 thoughts on “Do our teachers really know the potential of Web 2.0?”
I registered to take two workshops this coming week, one on podcasting, the other on “Blogs, Wikis, and the Read/Write Web”. The latter was canceled due to lack of interest.
I’m a K-12 Teacher/Librarian. I find that many of the classroom teachers that I work with do not have – or make – the time to stay current with new technology tools. New York state has so many standardized tests that there is little room to experiment or innovate.
A first huge step for us might be professional development blocks of time for exploration of web 2.0, with hands-on practice and consultants available as needed…not lectures, rather a loosely structured, regularly scheduled (once a month?) time to share information and test drive new technologies for learning.
I believe getting more teachers involved is all about change management. In regard to web 2.0, this fact became clear through the Social Software for Learning Research project undertaken last year – see https://socialsoftware-research.wikispaces.com/.
It’s a little like the shift to email years ago – many were reluctant at first but now everyone does it and of course many are looking for different tools to limit the email. So, it’s about seeing it done (demonstrations), using it as part of the way they work (corporate wikis for example or sharing urls through del.icio.us or having your Director and/or other managers blogging. It’s about using it in a real and not contrived manner, ensuring it is relevant and appropriate.
Just wanted to let you know your blog is great. I am a student teacher and just found out about edublogs and have spent many hours of the past few days just looking around – finally some people who are interested in education but do more than pay lip servie to the idea of ‘incorporating ICT into classrooms’. Even though you seem focussed on the VET sector and I am looking at primary school, there is heaps I can learn from your site – as soon as all my boring essays and assignments are done!
Great work and keep it up!