Saturday, January 27, 2007

Back to the Future?

I am sitting in upstate NY looking outside and seeing snow, lots of snow. At the same time I am attending a conference from over a week ago, somewhere in Texas, I think. I say I think because the podcast introduction was recorded from the Dallas airport. Wesley Friar is conducting a workshop session about Flickr and BubbleShare. The only problem is I can't accumulate frequent flyer miles.

As I'm sitting here I am listening and I am participating as well. I have my laptop on my lap, listening to Wesley Friar discuss Flickr and BubbleShare. I am following along as he navigates the websites. I can see exactly what he is discussing. It is like I am one of the participants in the room. I just can't ask questions. It is a lively group and they are covering all of my questions anyway. Can you believe this? The power of the Web 2.0!

One nice thing about this podcast is I can share it with others who have questions about these tools. Our school district will be conducting our annual technology conference day soon and I intend on sharing this as a resource. What strikes me most about these new tools is the way in which I have discovered them and the avenues available for sharing.

One thing that I was hoping for that Wesley's session did not address is exactly how these tools are being used in the classroom. I think it is easier for many teachers to adapt a lesson using a new tool than it is to come up with a whole new activity. Maybe there is a social network site just for teachers to share in this manner! They could call it MyTeacherSpace. If it's out there please let me know.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Why Now!

About a year ago I entered the School 2.0 arena without even knowing it. I discovered podcasting. I was so excited about this new tool that I spent many hours learning everything I could about it. It wasn't long after listening to my first podcast, School of Podcasting, that I wanted to podcast. As they say, "The rest is history".

Podcasting has led me down paths that I never dreamed I would travel. I have met several great people as well. Everyone involved with podcasting has been just wonderful.

I co-produce two podcasts for educators. One podcast involves three educators. It is called the TechPodZone. We discuss technology and the classroom. We have a lot of fun doing what we do and we hope people enjoy it.

The other podcast that I co-produce is called PSUCast. It is a podcast for PowerSchool users. PowerSchool is a popular student management system.

Both of these podcasts have taken me to several NYS conferences as a presenter and to the T&L Conference in Dallas, Texas. That was my first national conference! All of this in just one year! It all happened before I even new I had entered the Web 2.0.

As I stated before I have met so many good people. It was during a recording of the TechPodZone that I learned what Web 2.0 was really all about. Vickie Davis "Cool Cat Teacher" from Comilla, Georgia was an excellent guest. She motivated me to dig deeper into Web 2.0 or the ReadWrite Web.

Since that interview I have had my technology department at school install WordPress, Twiki, and Loudblog. I have used Classblogmeister in the one class that I teach. The tools that I have discovered and the techniques used to deliver the instruction have started to transform me from teacher 1.0 to teacher 2.0. I can't wait for version 3.0!

I want to share my classroom experiences and my discoveries with all teachers. The teachers that have not yet discovered this are the ones I would like to talk to. The challenge as I see it is, how to get these teachers on the upgrade path?

I hope to discuss how teachers can use these tools and all of the ones yet to be discovered. Join me on the path to School 2.0. Schools of the 21 century!