Friday, October 12, 2007

Novice to Expert in a Few Clicks

It's my understanding--not my experience-- that in terms of snowboarding, the difference between a novice and an expert is two weeks. That may not be true--and I'm sure for those who are "extreme" it is not. We all know the when it comes to making a PowerPoint slideshow the difference is 15 minutes (just to make one) and 15 hours (to make a really good one).

So what does it take to be a Teacher 2.0, a poweruser of Web 2.0 tools in the classroom?

Well, at the BOSSAC 2007 In-service Day, I witnessed 30 teachers go from novice to expert in under 5 hours. Where the were only two teachers who could define seven out of twenty-five Web 2.0 terms at the start of the day, everyone was creating their own blogs, wikis, and podcasts by day's end. It was great witness.

Two perceptions (of many) I took away from the day. One: how easy Web 2.0 technology really is, even for digital immigrants like our "shift happens" generation. And two: how powerful just a few Quick Starts can be to making that shift happen for the willing. I have no doubt that that Monday won't make a difference that shows up in the classrooms of our region. Here's my challenge to those of you who were part of the workshop and learned something new: Pass it along to at least one other teacher.

Now that you know, pay it forward.

For those of you who weren't at the workshop but are interested in learning about a few ways to use contemporary Web tools in your classrooms, find the handouts and Quick Starts at under Media for Educators. Soon you, too, will be "catching some air."

Image credit: Smith, Jonathan. "Snowboard Air." Dziner. 10 Jan 2007

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