Reflections on Instructional Technology and Media

Digital Immigrants 2.0 July 11, 2006

Last month, David Warlick kicked off a workshop for a group of our teachers and a couple of administrators on the use of Web 2.0 (blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc) in the classroom. Over the past two years we have had the occasional teacher use blogs with their students, but I am hoping to see a more prolific use of Web 2.0 in our schools in the coming year.

As I reflect on how to make this happen, it occurs to me that in order to get our teachers to a place where they feel comfortable using Web 2.0 in their classroom, they need to first become immersed in this new read/write web themselves. They need to become bloggers. They need to be a part of a group that develops a wiki for some specific and authentic purpose. They need to subscribe to RSS feeds. They need to listen to podcasts that are relevant to their area. How do I help these digital immigrants use these new resources as a part of their own personal learning network so that they become so comfortable with it that they will then use the resources with their students?

(OK, so the term “digital immigrants” is likely one of the most worn out terms at ed tech conferences, but the concept behind the term still holds water and adequately captures the nature of my struggle with getting the use of Web 2.0 up and really running in our school district.)

Here are my first thoughts on what I can do to facilitate this experience for these digital 2.0 immigrants:

  1. Focus time and training on the district level administrators, especially the curriculum area coordinators. Get the district administrators to commit to:

    • Subscribe to RSS feeds

    • Blog about their area of focus and ask their teachers to read and comment on their blog

    • Use web 2.0 for their meetings (see below)

  2. Use web 2.0 resources to facilitate district and school level meetings. For example:

    • create a wiki for recording the minutes of the meeting

    • audio record the meetings and publish them as podcasts

  3. Help school administrators set up wikis and blogs for use with their faculties

Stay tuned as I blog about my mission to upgrade our district to District 2.0!


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