Image: Keith Krueger (CEO, COSN) and Miguel Guhlin
Below you can find links to my slideshow and the audio of my presentation at the Texas Chief Technology Officers’ (CTO) Clinic held in Austin, Tx on June 22-23, 2009. I had a lot of fun delivering this presentation, but spent a lot of agonizing picking out which slides to cut from my 40 + slideshow. Some folks wrote to say, “Your presentation was inspiring!” and I heard similar remarks from others after the session.
I am always skeptical about the quality of my own presentations, perhaps holding out too high a standard and tend to over-prepare. I’ve decided that it comes from constantly revising and rewriting I indulge in as a writer, the search for just the right way to say something. That personal preoccupation aside, I was thrilled to present next to Keith Krueger from the Consortium for School Networking (COSN). I had no idea he’d been the founder of COSN and had been with the organization for 18 years or so. Wow! That’s a story in itself worth sharing!
There are now ample examples of the points I made in my presentation, but I’ve realized that simply because something is obvious doesn’t mean it’s going to be accomplished or implemented. “This is obvious…why aren’t we doing it?” argument seldom works in entrenched cultures like K-12 education.
From Facebook and other Social networking applications to wikis, blogs and digital media, students in the U.S. are fully engaged in the use of participatory Web 2.0 tools outside of the classroom. Though school leaders believe that Web 2.0 collaborative applications expand the resources available for classroom learning; they are often constrained by policy considerations. How can schools better align the reality of technology-rich world in which students live outside of school with the learning experiences they have in the classroom each day?
Keith starts out sharing the results of the CoSN and partners’ Leadership and Web 2.0 study (view results here), and then I follow up with my presentation, including audience participation. Note that I tried to capture participant notes online at the wiki page.
Listen to Keith Krueger and Miguel Guhlin on Web 2.0 and Policy Leadership
The file is about 40 megs in size and hosted by the Internet Archive.
- Copies of Presentations available online
- Whack-a-Mole Champion (via YouTube)
- Examples of How Tech Is Used In Spite Of Command and Control
- Reaching for the Heart – 5 Tips for School District Communications
- List of Texas School Districts Using Twitter (Thanks to Richie Escovedo, Next Communications Blog)
- The King and His Hawk Story
- “Web 2.0 is an attitude, not a technology.” (Ian Davis)
- UnMask the Digital Truth (Source: Wes Fryer )
- Learning Ecology
- Draft – Acceptable Use Policy
- Free Seminar – **Social Media: Trends and Implications for Learning** – George Siemens and Dave Cormier
- A List of Walled Garden Applications
- Moodle Central – Repository of Moodle related resources
- WordPress Multi-User
- Alamo Heights ISD – Use 5th grader stealing another student’s password to the Moodle as a teachable moment.
- Magnolia ISD – Curriculum uses chat during workshops and teachers discovered solutions to problems, detours to obstacles.
- Spring ISD – Communications and Technology are together. . .need to have our own channel and communications.
- Leander ISD – One of the things I’ve found out…undertook a process starting in January (glad to share the documents) of investigating and building an RFP process, looking for a comprehensive Web 2.0 solution that includes teacher web sites, student portfolios, homework assignments, comments/posting…I realized that everybody plays a little differently…lot of power in combining tools (wikis, blogs) and you get the flow of information up and down and how it flows to parents. Moodle/Sakai don’t know how to handle a parent natively. Put an RFP, had demos from 6 vendors, including open source integrations to commercial solutions. There was little delta in the price…don’t limit yourself to open source.
- Key is to narrow the focus…we had a reorganization…it’s key to get area superintendents to use these tools, use online meetings/tools and this expectation to use tools is conveyed to principals on down.
- Spring ISD – Using tools with principals….
- Donna ISD – Held our first tech conference…did this with university of Texas at Brownsville. We included a wide variety of Web 2.0 tools, bringing in stakeholders…have a good core group…lot done on wikis. After 4 days, we’re all wiki’d out. We did FLIP videos, Jing…wow, I can afford this was a comment teachers made often. Downside – do a big staff development for teachers in the Fall. People in leadership roles…that question the value of what we’re trying to do.
- A science teacher at an intermediate campus sets office hours (online?) so they can share TAKS prep.
- Dr. Sheryl Abshire’s district: Students are skyping in England, doing online stuff…
One thing that is your biggest problem in getting collaborative tools in your District:
- Administration – I’m getting ready to rewrite your AUP policies…I was bombarded by all the bad things students are doing. How do you get the leadership engaged?
- Brought in representatives from UTB to share (1/2 day) with principals, core directors and relayed the long range technology plan for Texas. It is important that NCLB…more out front.
- Keith: Superintendents don’t want to look stupid but they really don’t know what they are. Superintendents have to take ownership…until you get that, you’re not going to see wide-scale adoption.
- Why can’t we take the parent notification system…and do a student notification system? Take the same concept and use the tools that they’re used to.
- Leander ISD: Providing a context and examples…one of our past failures is just showing them the tool and there’s no connection…doesn’t make a difference. We brought in examples (Denton ISD – wiki going with class in Germany)…something that connects (China…PreK students).
- Keith: One of the big mistakes that we found is that if you have the best buy discussion about the tool, then…what is the education problem that you’re trying to solve? If you want to do engaging learning environments, what’s more engaging than Web 2.0 tools? Create a compelling learning environment. Over the last 17 years, the problem is that the “boss doesn’t get it.” We’re not putting it into the context…educational problems, not technology problems.
- Magnolia ISD : Leapfrog school administrations…go to the communications companies.
- Keith: The factors that mattered (significant statistically): 1) Vision and Leadership – could articulate what they were trying to accomplish and buy-in from the superintendent/school board; 2) Community Support – are you going before your chamber of commerce, PTA, not just you as the tech director but having kids presenting…the big secret weapon that you have is if you can engage the business community and parents. These groups have no idea what their students are encountering. Go before Kiwanis and talk about what you want…we have one device for every 5 kids, slow connections that precludes video, get business community members that make the school board presentations.
- Keith: Shift in participatory learning at school…we need to talk about, culturally…shift in the way we do learning and the power of participation (Participatory Learning at School isn’t that exciting a title).
Disclaimer: In this presentation, while I reference my school district work directly, I do want to be clear that my beliefs/assertions are MINE alone, and do not necessarily represent the District’s…it would be better to say that my statements are informed by my experiences in schools, conversations with many technology directors, and the few thousand tweets I get per day and blogs I read. However, it would be remiss of me to not thank my school district for their support, and in particular, my supervisor, Patricia Holub, who appears below in this photo with Keith:
Thanks also to Harold Rowe (Cypress-Fairbanks ISD), Dr. Alice Owen-Farsaii (Irving ISD) for thinking enough of what I had to say to invite me to speak on the same stage with Keith Krueger!
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure