Working with a group of teachers the other day, I was inspired to reflect upon just how much things have changed in just 6 months!
Of course the workshop was about Web 2.0, and we had some attendees who were at the ‘big toe in the water’ stage, as well as Bob, Martin and super enthusiastic Deputy Principal John. What a great school to have such a passion to move on through Web 2.0. Bob at McAuley runs a blog to support their ‘Focus on Learning’ project (which is about Web 2.0) and which will represent money well invested by the State in this school! Bob has joined me on FaceBook, and we had some interesting discussions after the workshop about the value (or otherwise) of Facebook for teachers. The answer? Not much value right now, but we will keep our eye on it :-)
Bob & Martin, along with some teachers from a number of our other schools, are also involved in a Learnscope project – once again around the use of Web 2.0. My young geek friend Melinda says:
The focus in this project is to acquire sound evidence on which to base future organisational decisions about communication and networking processes.
This will be done through investigating the use of web 2.0 tools:
- to support VET teachers and students as learners
- to facilitate workplace communication about VET teaching and learning issues
- in supporting industry and TAFE networking opportunities.
What’s different then you ask? Well, not just the fact that it has become ‘mainstream’ to undertake specific projects to investigate and integrate the best possible use of Web 2.0, but that through Web 2.0 we can reclaima teachers prime role of mentoring, nurturing, modelling or even teaching! students with technology that is online, intuitive, and embedded into the framework of learning and teaching.
The difference now is the existence of Web 2.0 as a framework for social networking and social communication; and Web 2.0 as a state-of-the art technology that is more and more intuitive rather being an ‘add-on’ to the core business of learning.
I’ve hear someone at work say a few weeks ago: “Web 2.0 is out there – we don’t need to do anything special to incorporate it into learning.”
Oh dear! – of course those of us ‘on the road’ and working with teachers know that the story is very different. . and that we are lucky to have so many projects to help people make the transition to Web 2.0 learning and teaching!!!!
So what WAS so different yesterday?
Not the workshop, but what happened afterwards. The staff attending the workshop didn’t all just pack their bags and run. A bunch of us gathered around and watched some videos that Bob has collected in his EventHorizon VodPod!! Were you doing that 6 months ago? A year ago?
We watched the amazing TED talk about Photosynth. We topped it off with some comedy! before driving home on a cold winter’s afternoon.