I'm stumbling through my second week of school with a lab full of new computers, hammering out system tweaks like a troll with a chisel, one computer (of the 21) at a time, and I hope this will help explain my silence of late. Going back to our summer workshop wiki reminded me that it's all worth it, and the revisit inspires me to work on an article this week to publish and share out what I think is a solidly replicable model for encouraging teachers to start "playing with" Web 2.0 in the classroom. Let's face it, if they don't have time to explore and play, they won't make the tools their own--hey, didn't I see a theory like that in the context of teaching our students, somewhere back in my pre-service learning days? Many of us know this, I believe, but we're so stuck in safe, familiar, industrial-age teaching methods that we don't give it the attention-in-practice that it deserves.
While I want to save the en totale article, I do want to point you to workshop star Joel Bezaire's (all right, you know you're all stars...) 7th grade pre-algebra wiki, a site he started during the workshop, conceived cleanly from the start and executed nicely according to plan. Look particularly at the way he's integrating video into his "Textbook Topics" piece, using the Flip Video device we shared in the workshop.
I was sitting in on my independent school's board of trustees meeting yesterday during an orientation meeting for new members (I'm this year's faculty representative, a duty which I'm greatly looking forward to discharging), when division heads reported out about the "state of the school" from their perspectives. The Middle School head Jeff Greenfield included in his 5 minute report the news that he had just come from a MS meeting where the Flip was being shared, along with Joel's prealgebra wiki. There's a palpable buzz building there, and I gladly postulate that it's mainly because a dedicated teacher was gifted the time to play with Web 2.0. Can you replicate his opportunity in your own school or district? Of course you can. And you don't need me to do it (though I'd be glad to hire out). More later...