Jan 31, 2008
ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) has posted a feature article from the February/March issue of Learning and Leading with Technology entitled "Social Networking for the K-12 Set," written by yours truly. In the article, I discuss the potential of social networking tools, the development of the SUSD Teacher and Student Community sites, (you're in the SUSD Teacher Community site now,) and the impact that their use has had on our education environment.
This article also offers an example of a successful open- source based education technology project in every respect. Not only did we leverage open-source resources and the community around them, but we also made modifications to the software necessary to fit our environment, and have made the new code available to the community at large, in true open-source fashion (you can find the latest version of the code here.)
There has been much talk of Web 2.0 in education these days, with social networking tools receiving much attention. I, for one, believe that social networking tools have the potential to change the way we think about education and community, by providing a platform upon which 21st century skills can be nurtured and developed in both students AND teachers. The trick is to figure out how to do it well, and to create a safe, effective, and comfortable environment for students and teachers to work in. (I discussed some of the reasons I believe social networking has yet to see wide educational acceptance/use in my post, "Why Hasn't Social Networking Taken Off in K-12 Education?" from last April - check it out, and let me know what you think.)
For more information on open technologies, visit the CoSN Open Technologies Initiative web site at http://k12opentech.org. There you will find a wealth of relevant information for K-20 educators on open-source, open standards, and open content.
Jan 24, 2008
Lawrence Lessig is perhaps the most prolific proponent of open content and copyright reform in the nation. He is the former CEO and continuing board member of the Creative Commons organization. His talks are always inspiring, thought provoking, and controversial, yet, in my view, foundational to our understanding of content and freedom in the digital age.