I think this could fit nicely for us, personally---but we'll probably be a very small part of that effort. Sounds great though, Jackie. Plan to invite all kids at our session on April 10th. All of our kids are hosting a local unconference in June where they are sharing their expertise and leading brief sessions. They might be willing to share the same info. here as well--need to talk with them more. We also have interns in our program--kids interested in becoming teachers who are provided support and professional development opportunities. I will make their participation here a part of their internship : )) My head is swirling....but here's a start.
And while it may start out that way...I do wonder what is to prevent it from becoming just another Facebook/My Space and what if eventually it becomes an area where they share information with each other that is inappropriate...will someone be monitoring that? Hate to be pessimistic as it is idealistically a great idea, something all teachers wish for--that lifelong learning independently from sources outside of the classroom, BUT....when teachers do these kinds of things as part of their classrooms, there is the known fact that the teacher is monitoring it and the threat of deletion plus a poor grade. So what is to prevent this in this area?
Good points, Ann. I think the committed mentors here will be a good start at making sure the focus is appropriate. My guess is we'll have lots of good discussions in this regard, and hopefully we can build a good culture of community values!
I'm going to let others weigh in here who have more experience, but I'm not convinced that for this site to be helpful to students driving their own educations that the site has to start out being led by the students.
My expectation has been that there will need to be a fair amount of coaching, structure, and help for most of the students who are just beginning to explore independently. I personally feel comfortable with adult mentors organizing that.
My latest thinking on this... just throwing it out there.
I think we empty this place out.., like all our discussions, ... invite kids in.. maybe a few we know will lead at first - because the beginning will be tough, like an empty foreign house.
Have them write their own welcome even?
I think the only group we leave on here is a help group, possibly manned by Steve, Jenny and Jackie at first. I think it needs to be a small number of people, and ones that can commit to only helping and facilitating, not directing. Ones that will bite their tongue when they want to step in, and wait for the kids to ask for help.
I think we leave a couple messages...like:
1) suggested plans for a session in May & the Tedxteen idea for summer
2) links for ways to help them communicate and get things done, like elluminate, learning central, dabbleboard, etherpad, typewith.me, etc. we should have a "translate this page" via google
3) list of suggested topics that we would offer sessions to them for... but I think only as a suggestion. I think we let them come up with what they would like to learn, and possibly even teach each other. I know my kids have learned way more from each other, even if it's the same topic.. they just listen to each other better. [and just like teachers, i think the tech needs to come as a result of a need, i'd like them to come up with... how do you do this..first ]
4) links of a few places they may want to check out... ie: Taking it Global, Ted and Tedxteen talks, BIF talk, Academic Earth, Brightstorm, Urgent Evoke, New School, etc. [ie: new school is set up with these links]
I think we need to trust the kids here. It's hard, because we care for them, but I think, for this to work, they need to know it's theirs.
The only thing I can't see yet - is the very beginning... those first few.. what will it feel like to them when no one else is here yet..
And... who will have time... I hear you about a tight curriculum. The thing we're trying to change is holding us back.
What do you think? ??? I could be completely wrong on all this.
Gosh - I wish I was smarter..
We're just finishing up break. I know next week I can have several on here.
We all could be completely wrong, so let's just get that out of the way! :)
There are several directions we could go. We've put feelers out - cast our lines into the water - and now we're waiting to see if any obvious fish bite. I don't mind waiting.
I can imagine your method working. I can also imagine that focusing on Jenny's upcoming class series will bring in a group of students who will need some hand-holding, but could become the base/core group to start to build out the network. I can imagine an educator somewhere using Students 2.0 as a class project and kicking us into gear that way. All seem possible, and all could actually happen at the different times here.
So I know it's hard to "wait," but that's what I'd recommend. Let's see who comes in with some energy and a plan, and then support them. And expect that there may be several ways in which this happens. I'll also start promoting actively during the FutureofEducation.com series I'm doing around Students 2.0 and keep casting out lines. :)