Saturday, November 25, 2006

Could we all Be Part of a 21st C School

I have recently blogged about friends and communities. I feel that the 2.0 bloggers out there are a great group of friends. When we meet through comments, reading each others posts, or skype conversation we all are struggling with similar problems. Filter issues, feeling like islands in a very large ocean. Is there a fix to this problem?

In recent conversations with Vicky Davis we have talked about trying out Second Life and creating a 2.0 island. While this would be cool and fun to try it got me thinking. If we already are an island in the sea of unchange what can we do with our first life?

Originally uploaded by muha....

One idea that popped into my head was to create a space, wiki, blog, whatever where all of us island could go and find tools to help our students acquire the skill they need to become more web savvy. Darren and I are creating a How to wiki where our students will create screencasts to help future bloggers with their projects. It will be amazing when there is a screencast for all these new tools (never ending list) made by kids instructing kids on how to use them.

I know there are sites out there that help teachers link with teachers. Chris Lehmann runs a school where all the faculty and students embrace the new reality of information. They are a 21st C school. He made a presentation for the k12online conference. I will be holding a Blog Club to talk about this movie.

Here is what has been going on in my head since I saw the movie. Chris has a school where everyone is onboard using the new tools that our out there. He practices what he preaches. We as educators are probably alone in our building practicing what Chris is talking about. How do we network our kids to see that they are not alone out there. This is the question I am struggling to answer. Our students need to see other students out there in the world doing similar learning. Once they have this audience they will start to participate more and put more effort into their learning.

When I worked with Jeanne the synergy was fantastic. We worked harder on the project because we could work as a team. We were Skyping and chatting all the time while we were editing the wiki. These collaberative projects are needed. Kids need to skype each other during the school day and feel this synergy. More powerful than this would be kids working together on a homework project that involved students from around the world.

I am proposing that we create a Virtual 21st Century school. Where we have classes of every discipline from all over the globe. We communicate to each other and have group projects. Students see that there is an audience for their work and make new friendships and learn about students from all over the world. I am not the person to create this space. Chris Lehmann said that he and his staff worked for 7 months online to create the Science Learning Academy. Hmmm 7 months from now a new school year dawns. Wouldn't it be cool to have a virtual 21st century school where the world took part in great learning experiences.

A dream is only a dream until you wake up and make it reality. I just might wake up soon :-)

Anyone else willing to wakeup with me?

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