I spent six hours with teachers from around the world yesterday talking about blogs and wikis and RSS and it was an exhausting, educational day for me as well as, I hope, for them. One thing I find when I give workshops like this is that I always learn something from the conversation, and I really appreciated the way this group probed and pushed back and thought hard about the changes we’re seeing. I’m still amazed at how amazed I am by these technologies. I still find them so fascinating, so powerful…and so unruly.
Case in point: I wanted to show Paul Allison’s “High School Online Collaborative Writing” wiki and when I went there, this is what I saw. Teachable moment! And it really was. It was such a perfect reminder of the messiness of the Read/Write Web, that despite the potential power that I think we all see in it, there is still much to think about in terms of bringing it to our students. As Tom said, wikis need a lot of care and tending, and in their current forms, they are a challenge in terms of student use. So we talked more about wikis as ways to connect teachers and resources and how we can bring students to wikis in careful ways.
The best part continues to be that these tools require educators to think differently about what their classrooms could be. To be able to instigate some of that thinking is just way too cool.