Dear Classroom 2.0 Member,

Next week I will be presenting a session on Social Networks and Education to a panel of interested educators. I would be very happy to hear from you as members of a vibrant community of educators, what you feel you get from membership and activity in the Classroom 2.0 online community.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to post your responses here.

All the best,

Reuven

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Reuven it gives a world wide view of what other educators are doing to improve student learning and ways to use and integrate technology without going to a workshop. You can narrow the topics to only view what is of interest, thus being more efficient than spending all day at an inservice and getting 10 minutes worth of information. Now if we could just expose the teachers that shut their doors in 1970 and have yet to reopen them to anything new, because they know all there is to know about their grade level/discipline.
Dear Reuven,

The opportunity to learn from and share ideas with other Judaic educators from Klal Yisrael has been invaluable to me.
Hi Reuven, it will be interesting to see if or how members' perception of Classroom 2.0 has changed over time, and if the huge increase in membership has affected that perception.
When I saw your post I remembered a discussion from 2007 In which a few of us answered the question above, although that wasn't the actual topic of the discussion.

While I'm no longer what could be described as an active participant, like Greg Gorman I still find Classroom2.0 to be an excellent resource. And recommend it as an enriching and supportive community for anyone who is interested in technology in education.
As with so many education tools, Classroom 2.0 is what people make it. Yes, there are those who use it regularly to improve their teaching skills, discuss global education issues, etc. It's biggest advantages are that it is a free site (still,) connected to Ning (which eases sign in, quick discussion creation, etc., and it has no ads (yet.). It is also a great site to connect teachers from diverse backgrounds, countries, and disciplines. I can belong to multiple Yahoo groups for example, but in Classroom 2.0, one login does the trick. And, Classroom 2.0 is designed especially for teachers. I would probably use it more if it had a Facebook plugin. That way I could catch what was happening in Classroom while using Facebook. A question to ponder.....Many Classroom 2.0 folks are already teaching using many different technological tools. How do we get new teachers involved? How do we involve teachers who aren't as adept in teaching with 2.0 tools?
Ok, I'm replying to my own reply, but I have been giving this topic more thought. Collins and Halverson in their book Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology talk about "Community of Place" versus "Community of Interest." Classroom 2.0 allows me to form multiple communities of interest without regard to my community of place. I live in Oregon, but Classroom 2.0 allows me to engage teachers in areas which interest me. I might be part of a group which explores field trips or history or photography. Sure, I might have a few contacts in the area where I live, but I certainly won't find the breadth of experiences and cultures that I find here.
I am the IT director for my school, and I think that Classroom 2.0 is great. I am in the business of teaching teachers and bringing them up to speed with new technology and giving them training where needed. I am also leading a group of teachers in an iPod touch pilot program to help them start thinking about technology integration. I think that Classroom 2.0 is good for two very important reasons. 1. It provides a forum for teachers that are both newbies and veterans to technology to share information and experiences relevant to making them better educators. One of the greatest things I learned about educators when I was going to school to be a teacher was that they have a huge body of knowledge that they are willing to share and constantly work to improve. 2. Classroom 2.0 bridges the gap between technology being something that only the students know, or is only relevant to their student's lives. It makes technology a reality for them in their own lives as professionals and therefore less of a mystery when new technologies are introduced on campus.

For me, teachers who use technology, like the iPods or forums like Classroom 2.0, are much more optimistic about moving forward with technology integration in the classroom. They went beyond being frustrated with technology necessities like email and word processing, to things that might be a bit more fun and are benefiting them rather than weighing them down.
I discovered Classroom2.0 by accident one day and am I ever glad! I have enjoyed many of the webcasts, had our students Skype with schools in the United States in order to improve their English and learn about other cultures, learned about blogging and podcasts and enjoyed the comments posted by other educators on various topics. I have been teaching for over 40 years and this has opened a whole new world for me and my students. As a coordinator, I am able to check out the new ideas and then share them with the teachers in my department. Keeping it as a free resource makes it available to even the poorest schools.
Classroom 2.0 and web 2.0 means better and more effective communication. Specifically, new collaborative methods to share and encourage participation of students, parents and teachers.
I would like to thank you all for sharing your thoughts and feelings about Classroom 2.0 and its role in your professional lives. You helped me pass along the message about educational networks to those educators who participated in my webinar. I feel that many of the participants are now more willing to get involved in online social networks and maybe we will be seeing some of them here!
Thanks again! Below is the presentation. Additional resources can be viewed here: http://reuw.wikispaces.com/Social+Networks+in+Education

Like most educators, Classroom 2.0 connected me to a wider community of people. I was able to start some Skype and Wave projects through contacts on Classroom 2.0. I have been impressed with the diversity of circumstances and opinions here.

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