I’m in the Tampa airport (free wireless!) catching up on some reading after spending the day with about 100 tech coordinators from Pinellas County schools talking about investing in the stock market…er…I mean blogs, wikis, RSS and all that other fun stuff. And it was a great day overall (with the exception of one sobering moment that I’ll get to in a bit) that was filled with really thoughtful questions and conversation and a surprise visit from Clayton Wilcox the blogging superintendent. (That’s him in the picture…click it to see a larger version.) Here are a couple quick observations:
As we were discussing the concept of readers as editors, I showed them the white supremicist created Martin Luther King site . Well, actually, I showed a picture of it since it was being blocked at the time, and after pointing out the obvious racist tenor of the site, I asked how many could go and find out who owned that domain, who created and updated it.
There was a deafening silence.
Not. One. Person.
Sean FitzGerald says
I’m surprised you’re surprised, Will. I don’t think even the net-savviest of the teachers I train would have the first clue how to work out who owns a domain.
There sure is a ways to go. It’s easy to forget that while we are running around, flapping our arms about and getting all excited about Web2.0 tools like blogs and wikis and their influence on education, many teachers still don’t know much about how to use Web1.0!
ann smith says
Well I was one who attended today… it was inspiring and made me exicited to be a teacher. You were a bright ray of sunshine in our world of FCAT and pacing calendars. You helped define what my goals and visions are going to be and now I know where to go.
This was a learning experience for you as well as for us. You assumed that as technology professionals we were up to speed… Unforunately we were not. ( Many thanks to Judy Ambler who knew that we needed your guidance.) Do not be dissappointed in us as a group as you have given us many great tools and ideas. I imagine that you will be surprised next time you come to this area as we will be up to speed and we will be ” thinking differently”
Thanks for the best workshop I have had in a long time!
PS: I have already created a curriculum wiki for my staff this evening..this is so much fun!
Donna Hall says
I am excited to be the first (OK Second) from Pinellas to respond. Thank you for including us in your learning community.
As a Media Specialist who feels VERY lucky to have attended your workshop with us, let me say “Nobody EVER told me!” I know how to REFERENCE a website and I teach the kids that it is important to check that the source of the site is valid but other than citation information at the bottom of the site or an “About this site” link, I have never known HOW to find the domain owner of a site. I am embarrassed to say that I have told the kids that one way to feel secure about the information on a site is to look at the end of the URL and that a .mil, .gov, .edu, and (gasp).org site can usually be trusted. I wish I could go back and apologize to each and every child! I have told them to validate the information by finding it with other sources (whew!)
Because of the learning experience I shared with those “100 tech coordinators” I know I have expanded my knowledge base and hopefully will be able to “spread the word” with the teachers at my school and with the students as well.
(by the way… although I have tried to dabble a bit with blogs, I have never subscribed or responded to any blog. You may have created a monster! 🙂
I can’t speak for others Will, but there might have been a deafening silence but I, for one, was already googling it and if you remember, told you that I found the answer on google. So perhaps one shouldn’t jump to conclusions, lol! Just because someone doesn’t yell out an answer or raise a hand doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t know an answer.
Other than that, I enjoyed your talk today. I’ve been blogging for several months, have used RSS on my blog to link to others doing the same hobby as myself but you did give me food for thought as to how to apply this to the kids at my school and I thank you for that.