Hi all, I've been heavily researching and learning all about web 2.0/social networking in education for a couple of weeks now and it seems like it would be a good idea to set a foundation and some goals and metrics for the space.

Please let me know if this is happening somewhere else on the web, if it is I'll be happy to join the discussion/collaboration there.

If it is not, I think this is a pretty good place to start.

I'm suggesting that we as a group of vested, interested, informed individuals build a definition set, come up with some goals and ways to measure those goals.

I'll propose a few ideas here and look forward to your thoughts.

I know a lot of definitions are happening in wikipedia naturally but I thought this group would a have a perception of the key words that would be helpful to ourselves versus the general masses.

Please Define
social networking
web 2.0
educational efficiency

# of teachers using web 2.0
# of conferences
# of students participating here
improved learning efficiencies
educating students in new communication techniques

I think this will help us bring new folks into the fold and help our initiative grow.

Any thoughts?

Tags: blog, definitions, goals, metrics, networking, plan, podcast, social

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Indigo, thank you for your reply. what do you think are the right questions?

are they already being asked, answered and acted upon?
if so why are we in the united states so far behind?

are we behind other countries other educational systems?

my goal in asking defintitions is to get terms that non-tech people can easily grasp so we can forward the movement quicker.

do you have a way of defining these things from an education perspective and maybe add, what value they bring to education?

Interesting, this is good conversation thank you.

Are you suggesting without paper and pencils students could do just as well on tests? So it is not worth talking about their value to the educational process?

I come from a business background so I think in terms of efficiency, how can we do more with less, get more done with what we have. I am wondering can technology help with this? If it can then there is a good reason to adopt it. I think it can, so I was looking for some more data from others in the field as to their experience. Because I feel with a group of teachers coming together with a similar message we can make more progress in moving in a direction that's best for all.

But first I was trying to establish what is the direction?

My thoughts on how is technology changing the skills to hold a job is that, the students will learn the technology with or without the educational system, they already know how to blog and podcast and edit wikis, so if those are the skills needed I don't think the school has to teach them, they are a part of the student's culture. But maybe I am overestimating the use of these skills? Maybe the students don't have them?

What I am trying to determine is if these skills help the educational process?

My thought about efficiency is that if we can learn more efficiently that means getting more done in less time, so we can learn more i.e. get better grades.

Does that concept fit with your concepts? It's ok if it doesn't it's just a hypothesis.

It seems your saying the problem is quality control i.e. better quality house equals better quality learners. From that perspective the focus should be on quality not technology unless technology can help quality.

I agree it does not ensure quality but I think it can help. Maybe the only real thing to affect quality is people and their standards?

I am not a teacher, I am a accessory to education, I can't help but wonder are better grades the only metric to knowing if we are preparing our kids for a future of work?

I have been learning more as I get into this, with your help, you're right, many kids don't know how to use the tools, it's interesting in the business world most people assume that the tools are only for and being used by kids.

Good stuff.
This is an interesting discussion. I understand both points and perspectives and it seems that although Indigo sees the big picture, his point seems to be lacking the questions that David is trying to ask that will make tech ed work in this world we live in. Maybe I'm wrong, but my position is one of staff development, integration, and district accountability. I need not only to speak as Indigo does (although he does better at it), but also to ask the hard questions that speak on measurable results and increased test scores for all students, even in the highest performing areas.

I agree that technology must be taught and it shouldn't be seen with a desire to measure it's success, but it is seen and analyzed in this manner and my ability to continue to work in the manner I do depends on my presenting how I have helped to increase achievement across all of my schools. Does this then become the task of creative presenting of my work, or can we try to meet in the middle and see what should be in our tech ed world and also work with how we must work in order to make the change we are looking to make.
Hi Erik, thanks for joining in.

I don't understand your thought : it shouldn't be seen with a desire to measure it's success.

How do we justify our decisions and actions, without a measure of their success as a pre-cursor to making the decision?

Please help me understand.

I like your comments on staff development, integration and accountability, that is where I am trying to head. Defining what are we accountable for?

I am not a teacher, maybe this is already defined, maybe it needs to be redfined? If so I started this discussion to see if it needed to be redifned and use the wisdom of the most in tune folks to do it.

I am passionate about leveraging technology to increase educational efficiency.

I have an engieering background so everything is about efficiency, when I first entered the educational space it seemed there where no ways to measure educational efficiency.

I completely agree with Indigo's definition, I wonder is it being applied in today's US educational system? And if not how can we apply it? Who is going to lead the charge.

So let me take a stab at some more accountability metrics that I've been thinking about and I hear top level people talk about but I'm not sure they've allocated the resources to help it filter down.

Graduation rates
Skill sets

What about things like having students find careers they like and fit their personality? Is it possible to educate around that goal, so we have happier more productive workforce?

ok, enough ranting, looking foward to your thoughts,

I think this community is a great start.
Erik, how do we get to focus on staff development, integration and accountability from where we are ?

As I continue toward my quest to analyze the tech in ed space. I find many teachers using web 2.0 and talking about it in communities like this and their own blogs. But, like Indigo said a while ago I don't see those teachers relating what they are doing to an increase in achievement. they seem to be achieveing new things i.e. teaching the students how to learn and collaborate, but none of the presenations I've seen in podcasts, webcasts, blogs, communities talk about how these activities raise grades or even correlate to grades.

That is really the data I am looking for, I think that is the key to more adoption or support from administration?

Hey if the question is what should we be teaching instead of how are they doing on what we are teaching them then let's discuss that. I'll open another thread.

Or maybe the question is, do we need support from administration?

My goal was really to find out how many, who and result of integrating tech in ed, regardless of the motivation, from there we can figure out the motivation and results.

I totally agree that technology is something that is needed and I believe that it certainly promotes quality work and that it naturally differentiates ... etc... I am the choir when talking about this. I think in my last post I was in agreement with all that was said and really impressed with this conversation. However, what I have been searching for is how to pick technology clean from a specific task that is measured and find out what role it played in the academic increase. Maybe it did, maybe not, but my belief and my rhetoric (as well as yours) is only strong to administrators and non educators when it can be boiled down to numbers and held up to NCLB with confidence. Certainly my district fuels my research and cheers this on, but they would do well to understand that all of this technology is working and have the study to prove it.

So, I'm in agreement that what we speak of and sell to peers is well worth our time, but I want change to stick and I am simply recognizing the issue of measurability as it pertains to educational decision making.
Is inefficient learning just as valuable to the learner as efficient learning? What I mean is, who is it that thinks that efficiency is essential to good learning?
I can efficiently run to the store and buy a set of shelves for my garage. But building the shelves myself is a better opportunity for learning.
I agree with what you're saying in that process leads to valuable understanding, but in your example of shelves, you seem to be comparing the process of two tasks rather than examples that explain efficiency. Maybe there are efficient manners of both shopping for shelves as well as building that would add to the value of those tasks. So, I would say that the shelving examples are unrelated, but I would also say that both ways of getting shelves would benefit from efficiency.
Yeah - my example stinks - too much thinking already today - but I guess I wonder if we should be striving for efficiency in education at all. Why is that an important - and in this conversation, THE important thing - to be striving for?
yea, I don't know that it is. I do agree with that. I certainly respect the different speeds of learning, but I think efficiency is a fancy word for progress, and in education I think progress means learning and that's got to be good.

Your example was good, by the way. It made me really think about the thread.
That's what I believe too. Thanks for the clarification. But I would say that my most efficient is certainly more speed savvy than MY least efficient. Agreed?



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