Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Journal #6

Soule, Helen (August 2008). Transforming School Communities: Creating Dialogue Using Web 2.0 Tools. Learning & Leading With Technology, 36(1), 12-15.

Helen Soulé's article "Transforming School Communities: Creating Dialog Using Web 2.0 Tools" starts off with three basic components that a school district must have for communication to work. Web 2.0 is a free and/or inexpensive way for districts to produce blogs, combine text, images, video, and web pages together. Web 2.0 can also conduct polls, meetings online, and focus groups. The advantages to having Web 2.0 inside a district is that it can allow parents to access information on the schools web site, as well as give the "silent" community member a way of expressing their opinion.

Web 2.0 can transform communications in three different areas:
The first area is Advocacy. Teachers, principals, and community members can post and view case studies, practice video's, view teacher testimonials, as well as upload blogs, websites, and pod casts

The second area is networking. Creating a web 2.0 profile allows organizations like ISTE Island, and LinkedIn that are professional learning networks to share information.

The third area is collaboration teachers, administrators can create distance meetings using Skype and an eyeball camera. Teachers can attend staff meetings online while on summer vacation. Teachers and Administrators can share documents, video, and presentations on Google doc's.

At the click of a button people can be given what they need and shown what is expected from them. All of the programs listed here are very innovative ways of communicating on a grand scale to the mass of people who care about our students. It is important that they be allowed equal access to information, and that they be give a proper place to voice there opinions on issues regarding there children's education

One question I had for this article is. Can this type of communication between parents and teachers incorporate cell phones so that parents can be updated on situations involving the safety of the school and the safety of the students. We have seen such a system put in place at CSUSM, and it works quite effectively. If an incident occurs on or around the campus the campus police send out text messages and recorded phone calls to the students and faculty advising them of the situation.

A second question I have is can the technology discussed above be combined with adaptive technology for students with special needs. The point I'm trying to drive at is how can blind children use this visual technology effectively?

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