Over the last couple months, I’ve done five day-long sessions with different teachers in my district. My main goal has been to explain to them why they should start using technology (other then PowerPoint) as one of their regular teaching tools and introduce them to specific technologies they could use with their students now (especially since all of these teachers just received a shiny new Mac Book).
After talking about QuestGarden (the WebQuest creation tool), I gave an overview of Web 2.0 and then discussed blogs and wikis as instructional tools.
As I discussed Web 2.0, I kept talking around an idea that I didn’t quite know how to verbalize. Today I can across a presentation by Andy Budd of Clearleft Web Design that really hit it perfectly. Web 2.0 is a state of mind. He uses the example of the steam engine which was intially invented in the 1st century, but its time didn’t come about until 18th century England. That era was full of innovators who looked at the technologies available in a different way and were able to build and innovate in a way not seen before. The same is true today, the conceptual foundation of Web 2.0 is actually quite natural and basic, but people are looking at functionality and integration of these new technologies into our live in a much more meaningful and useful manner. There have been a number of information revolutions, dating back to the printing press, but this phase of it is exponentially expanding the creation of content and the number of ways we can interact with it. It is a state of mind and as the teachers in my workshops started to wrap their brains around it, I saw lights going on (and then heads shaking – there is always too much to do!).
Quick side note: As soon as I read this, all I good think about was Joel’s departure from Alaska in Northern Exposure (my favorite TV show of all time), “New York is a state of mind.” It was a perfect way to summarize his departure.
Go through Andy’s presentation, it is well worth the time.