September 18, 2008

Virtually Limitless

Filed under: edtech,education,k12online08,Misc.,personal learning network,TeachersFirst — Candace Hackett Shively @ 1:44 pm

TeachersFirst is fortunate to have a reviewer/contributor who is building a significant learning network among edubloggers, school reformers, and edtech proponents. Louise Maine not only was the focus of articles on wikis in the classroom in the current Edutopia, she will also be presenting for the K-12 Online Conference coming up in October. Louise’s level of involvement as part of a network of enthusiastic educators involved in edtech-as-part-of-ed-reform movement makes me both optimistic and concerned.  I wonder how many teachers even know about the opportunities for virtual conferences, online professional learning networks, and edublogs that spark discussion with thought-provoking reading. Wouldn’t it be great if we could both spread the word and have some means of tracking the spread?

Steve Hargaddon’s efforts at Classroom 2.0 provide one helpful stat: the number of members (11,474 as I write this) . The number of free edu-wikispaces surpassed 100K last week, another meaningful stat. But what do these numbers mean…and do most teachers know that the opportunities are virtually limitless?

I hope that this year’s K-12 Online conference will provide two things: a way to get a picture of the spread of virtual professional development and resultant CHANGE in education and more ideas for reaching the stressed and buried among teachers. While I do believe there is an obligation for teachers to seek new ideas and learn about new trends, I also know that the barriers for many are simply impossible. What will K-12 Onliners do to make the message virtually limitless?  Can we brainstorm efficient, clever ways to reach the teachers who suffer with unreliable infrastructure, resistant administration, untenable working conditions, and immense personal pressures?  Just as we talk about removing barriers for student success, we need to look at the big picture of teachers’ lives and help them access the virtually limitless opportunities being enjoyed by this energized* bunch.

energy2.jpg*Louise and I have been emailing about energy and entropy as she plans her K-12 Online presentation. I have thoroughly enjoyed the dialog…and am spreading the energy here in honor of her efforts.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Candace,

    I was hoping to get in touch with you by email, any chance you could drop me a line? Thanks in advance — love the site and have a question about content.

    Comment by seth — October 3, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

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