March 2006 BAISNet Meeting Notes: Web 2.0
Barbara Cohen, http://barblcohen.edublogs.org/
Filed under: Educational Blogging, EduBlogs, Blogging, Blogging as conversation, web2.0, podcast, Future Directions, edtech, PC Tablets, Podcasts in Education, future, tech coordinator, blog — March 16, 2006 @ 8:21 pm
MCDS hosted a BAISNet meeting this afternoon, which was attended by over 40 teachers, tech department members and administrators from Bay Area public and independent schools. Folks drove from as far away as Monterey, Oakland, San Jose and Sonoma to attend the meeting. The topic was, of course, how we are implementing Web 2.0 technologies in our schools. We had 5 wonderful speakers and I have included links from the conversations and presentations below:
Blogs We’re Reading, Podcasts We’re Listening To and Tools We’re Playing With:
As an informal mixer/warm-up to the topic, I asked everyone at the beginning of the meeting to introduce themselves, the schools they were from, and if appropriate, a favorite Web 2.0 resource they are currently using. This is the list of resources mentioned (be sure to add others as a comment below!):
1. Jon Udell’s Weblog
2. Knitting Blog
5. Home Brewing podcasts
6. Daily Kos
9. Psychology podcasts
10. NY Times podcasts
12. Mozilla Sunbird
13. SF Chronicle Tech Talk Podcast
14. Poker podcasts
15. Blue Frontier
20. Class Blogmeister
21. How to set up a student centered classroom blog
Visual Search Engines:
Our first presenter was Angela Neff, Director of Technology at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School in San Mateo, who gave us a brief overview of what Web 2.0 is, with comparisons to various Web 1.0 tools and websites. She then presented a host of visual search engines and challenged us to break (or at least examine) the Google habit by experimenting with some of the cool tools listed below:
The next presenter was Jason Stone, Director of Technology at San Francisco Day School, who spoke about how his 5th grade Spanish teachers and students have been experimenting with podcasting as a wonderful extension of the Spanish curriculum. While SFDS have been able to post MP3s to the website for years, they are excited about how podcasting lets users subscribe through aggregator (most students use iTunes). By using a stand-alone MP3 recorder, recording becomes really easy and not dependent on having a laptop handy. With the newest version of iLife, GarageBand makes podcasting really simple and Apple has a really good tutorial on creating and posting a podcast.
Plone Content Management Software for School Websites:
Next up was Preston Tucker from The College Preparatory School in Oakland. He took us through the stages of growth and development their school’s website has gone through over the years. As their original website grew, it slowly became un-navigable and untenable with over 600 separate pages, until finally his school asked him to move the website from a Web 1.0 to a Web 2.0 structure. After studying and analyzing many other school websites, they decided to use Plone, an open-source CMS, to develop their new site. Some of the key advantages to their new site include:
1. Calendars, pictures, and news are now easily brought to the front of the site
2. If the school changes it’s branding, logo, colors, etc. it is easy to change
3. Searching and using the site mirrors an analogy of the simplicity of Google, rather than the drilling down through the links like Yahoo
4. Non-technical users put their information, documents, photos, etc. into forms that are controlled centrally and viewable by any browser
5. Students now beginning to be webmasters
6. Plone has a number of out-of-the-box import/export features for various document types
Using Moodle Course Management for a School Website:
Richard Kassissieh from San Francsico University High School was up next to talk about how UHS has moved from using WebCT to Moodle for many of their course listings and teacher interactions with students. He has made it easy for us to review his presentation by posting an outline of it here. I also mentioned the Moodle that is being built by the New York Consortium of Independent School Technologists (NY’s equivalent of BAISNET) and how it might be an interesting model for us to consider as well. Richard also spoke eloquently about the importance of teacher blogging, how it changes writing, how we ought to visit and support each other’s blogs, and how the voices of those of us who work directly in schools need to be added to the edublogosphere (which is already well represented by ed tech consultants.) Visit (and leave a comment on) Richard’s blog when you have a minute! If you have a blog of your own, please leave the URL in a comment below or email the info to BAISNet.
Talking to Students About MySpace:
We ended the BAISNet portion of the meeting with a presentation by Brad Lakritz from Marin Academy. He recreated a presentation he recently delivered to 9th and 10th graders at his school as part of a larger panel (including older MA students) on the topic of MySpace. One especially salient point was that he equated Web 2.0 technologies as being the “reality internet” outcropping of the reality TV shows, including many very real dangers and pitfalls. His school consciously made the decision to arm students with information and statistics about web usage and the public nature of MySpace, rather than using scare tactics. He gave the example of how his 16-year old daughter felt that giving him access to her MySpace account felt as though he was listening in on her private phone calls, yet she failed to understand just how very public her online communication was indeed.
At Least They Brought Yummy Food…
MCDS has been experimenting with inviting various vendors to school to deliver some of our professional development to teachers. Following the meeting we invited a vendor to present to BAISNet and some of our own faculty and…well…let’s just say that it was not a very effective presentation. Thanks for those of you who managed to sit there for what felt (to me) like an eternity. Personally, I vote for keeping BAISNet meetings BAISNet meetings. ‘Nuff said.
Thanks to the wonderful presenters and to all of you who braved the rainy weather this afternoon! If you weren’t able to attend or are reading this entry from parts unknown, please feel free to add to our lists of resources, ask questions, leave comments, etc.