Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Connectedness is Transformative

Web 2.0 in education is powerful on many levels. It opens the door to education outside of the box. It creates corridors and highways of learning that have not before been available. It requires new skills and thought processes. It promotes new sense of what it means to be a citizen of this planet. And it levels the field allowing for anyone to be a contributor and creator.. Konrad posted a very thoughtful commentary on this is mid- August with some great examples of moving beyond collaboration and into contribution. I admire his work and hope to move forward to embrace much of what he talks about..... however recognizing that we are all at various points in the process of redefining teaching and learning I am struck by the notion that connectedness is the portal of transformation.

School has been in session for 9 days now and during that time we have used skype in one capacity or another almost everyday. We have had 3 skypecasts, 2 with students and one for professional development ( with another one which we had to postpone because of connection problems). As part of the Thinwall Classroom several of us have had almost daily chats with Clarence. And starting a little later this week we will be skypecasting first grade for about and hour a day because one of our students will be out of school for six weeks with a badly broken leg.

Despite living in large metropolitan area it is easy to be incredibly insulated, isolated and myopic. Skype has opened a portal to the world and begun to break down the walls of our school and classrooms. It has created an openness and a transparency that would never have been possible 10years ago. It has expanded our students world view and that of our whole community. Skype also adds the human face-to-face element to our connectedness. This is powerful. I can feel the excitement and the energy on campus growing.

Watch out the walls are begin to fall and good things are coming …..because we have opened the connections…..

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Picture credits: Uploaded on February 10, 2007
by Mark H. Baker

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