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Scott Elias

I like the credo, Greg! Great stuff. I, too, struggle with how to "strongly encourage" without "mandating" technology integration. By being supportive but not too pushy, I think I've lured some "technophobes" out onto the web.

I posted some thoughts of my own on this here: http://snipurl.com/1i9t1

Carol Burns

First, let me say you are right on target with "not mandating" and with your desire to model best use of Web2.0 tools. I like the credo and am going to re-read it several more times. (I would like to learn more about your ALT Action Learning Teams.) I think we have something similar to ALT but we call them Teacher Integrators and unfortunately we only have 2 for every 25 schools.

Our school has also struggled with how best to get the staff involved in blogging, wikis and podcasting. Surprisingly, THEY are spreading the word. They are teaching each other, modeling what they believe to be good adaptations of the media with their students and passing the information along through their blogs....saying to each other "check my blog"...."did you see what my students think about global warming"...etc...

At EGHS, we began our blogging journey in October 2006 with a 3 hour blogging workshop.I was so excited to be able to train a group for blogging as my "day job" is to maintain the network, fix printers, make backups of files etc....while I am a teacher first, and a network person second, staff training is my first love. So, in beginning to blog with staff, I knew it was important to get them READING blogs. Will says you can't be a blogger unless you read blogs, so we began with the pedegogy of blogging, which I have developed into further training at www.mscarolburns.com . Our EGHS blog, listed above in the URL section of the comments( http:\\carolburns.edublogs.org ) GREW with the staff...I posted each day...a tidbit of blogging information, trying to keep everyone focused and interested....you can see the blog categories has expanded to WIKI's and podcasting with more to come in those areas. I just finished a second 3-day blogging workshop and have even more bloggers enjoying this Web2.0 tool. On the second day of blog training, the participants set up an edublog blog, posted to it and set parameters they were comfortable with. On the third day of the blog training, we posted pictures from Flickr and set up an aggregator; added blogs to the aggregator and when they left they were so excited and anxious to continue what they started. I keep each workshop participant list in my email groups and I keep in touch with them after the workshop is done. They are an amazing group of teachers and I'm anxious to tackle the next bit of training they request as the blogs spread....I also invite feeder schools to participate in the blog training....it is not specific to any one grade level and since I'm originally an elementary school teacher, I can talk to that group about blogging as well.

Here's something else....our Assistant Principal wanted to discuss professional development articles at faculty meetings and so encourage commenting, I posted initial requests for those comments to the blog under the catagory of Faculty meetings...wanna see teachers blog? Give them a controversial issue like 7th period day -vs- block scheduling! I got 24 comments posted on that in record time!!! And, did I point out, we are modeling blogging all the while? They were participants in a blogging activity while commenting on a necessary issue of relevance to our staff. Do you love this? I didn't get so many comments on The Gray School or the Roland Barth article on relationships within the school, but there are some....we will continue to grow this blog and encourage teachers to blog with their students. I hope to offer more training this summer.

I am inspired by your leadership in Web2.0 tools and hope you get the word out to more principals.

Carolyn Foote

I really think you are very on target by modeling what you'd like teachers to be doing, and by example, are showing real instructional leadership.

I'm curious to know more about your ALT and how they function. We're considering "study groups" and I'm wondering if this is similar or not.

I think a lot of these tools can also grow from the grass--roots level, but it's so important to have administrative understanding and support so that teachers don't have impediments to trying these tools when they are ready and eager to do so.

Barbara

I like your credo approach and the questions you phrased in response to what Joe and I wrote. Even though we have made great strides it is a difficult task to sustain momentum and change. You idea helps provide vision and focus.
I agree the best way to get teachers to blog is to get them to read. I tried to start the whole staff with blogs and aggregators in August but it did not take because I was way ahead of their comfort zone. Now however they are reading and every faculty meeting starts with sharing about what they are reading. This week two of the teachers shared about uses of Second Life in education (something many had not ever heard of)...the conversation was worthy of a podcast and that indeed may be the next step. The more they read and share the less dependence there is on me to provide vision and insight into Web/Class/School 2.0.
Now I think they are ready for aggregators and so I am going to use a great short little video that is over at classroom 2.0 to remind them about this tool AND THEN I am going to give them the gift of time so we can use faculty meeting time to set them up together.
(RSS in Plain English: http://classroom20.ning.com/video/video/show?id=649749%3AVideo%3A7785

Neil A. Rochelle

I certainly strive for the Web 2.0 environment in my school district. Your credo is a great framework. The "how to make it a reality" question is one that I ponder often. As you said, modeling speaks volumes. The rest will come as more and more teachers AND students see the value of the read/write web. Personally, I don't want Web 2.0 technologies to become another 'subject' to study. I want it to evolve into a tool just as a dictionary, journal or newspaper.
The way I see Web 2.0 becoming a reality is when people realize that the read/write web is an efficient and easy way to write, share information and share that information with potentially millions of people around the world. I have been a little preoccupied lately with my son in the hospital and have gotten 'behind' in checking out many of the blogs I follow. I just finished reading Alex's Legoman Blog. Alex is a third grader in my district. I gave a presentation to his class several months ago so his class could begin a blog. Now, he is blogging: about school projects, hobbies and of course the Stanley Cup Playoffs (we live outside Buffalo NY). I could not be more proud of his contribution and motivation. It is the generation coming through that will surely teach us a few things. Remember, the internet has only been around for about 25 years. Imagine what things will be like in another 10?
Teachers need the 'permission' and the time to integrate Web 2.0 technology. As 'curriculum revisions' are made, there now should (and will be in our district) resources and guidelines for technology integration.
Last comment Greg.....it's time we ALL move out of our comfort zone. It's the pace that can be flexible.

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