I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve had the great fortune this year to team teach the technology part of a doctoral course at Seton Hall with Alan November, and tonight we were back in class talking about blogs and wikis and the like. There are about 25 students in the cohort and about half have dipped into blogs in one way or another. I’ve linked to some here previously, but I found out tonight that there was quite a bit of blogging going on under the radar as well. There was actually blogapplause…cool!
What was most interesting were the ways in which they were using blogs and the process some of them had to undertake in order to get them started. Some had to literally jump through hoops to get Weblogs “approved” first by principals, then superintendents then boards. Others just went ahead and starting using them without asking permission. Some used them to carry on conversations about policy and planning. Others used them to have conversations about technology and blogging. Many formed partnerships and collaborations through their sites. In all it was pretty interesting mix and really fun to hear about.
But the bottom line was that for most, the implementation of these technologies is still a huge mountain to climb. One of the “students” who is an administrator at her school talked about how difficult it was for her teachers to see the potential, to think creatively about the technology. She said that so few of them were current with the tools and that few were able to easily get to the ways they could be applied. And I got the sense that this was true for most of the people in the room. And I know it’s true for most schools. We don’t do a great job of helping teachers stay abreast of what’s happening in technology. We need to show them more clearly how these technologies can change their practice and their classrooms. RSS feeds, screencasts, podcasts…these are all technologies that we can use to get teachers interested in what’s out there and model their use at the same time.