Where to Go for More: Resources for Technology and the Essential School

Technology that Enhances Powerful Teaching and Meaningful Learning
Honor Moorman, whose article “Adventures in Web 2.0: Introducing Social Networking into My Teaching” is featured on page 3 of this issue, suggested many of these resources for incorporating technologies that increase interaction into the classroom.

Classroom 2.0
Classroom 2.0 is a social network devoted to the use and impact of collaborative technologies in education. More than 24,000 members, led by several savvy hosts, ask, answer and co-create information and insight on the Ning platform. Whether you need to get a grip on what this “2.0” deal is, want to research a specific tool, and—especially—if you’re seeking other educators working with collaborative technology in their classrooms, Classroom 2.0 is a vibrant, happening online resource.

Did You Know? 2.0
“Did You Know? 2.0” is an eight minute video presentation that elegantly and powerfully describes the world for which we are educating young people now. It invites educators and parents to make their own decisions about what 21st century skills should be, and is a dynamic way to start conversations in your school community. In addition to the video, available on YouTube, creators Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod have collaborated on the “Shift Happens” wiki, which provides additional background for using and understanding “Did You Know? 2.0.”

The Machine Is Us/ing Us
Cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch created “The Machine Is Us/ing Us,” a four and a half-minute video presentation that is an extraordinarily clear description of what Web 2.0 is, and what it really means for communication, interactivity, and collaborative information creation. The entire Mediated Cultures site on which the video resides is a fascinating tour through cutting edge interactive technology and its impact on education, society, and our lives today. Do not miss the World Simulation Project, an amazing example of authentic assessment that provides groups of students with the opportunity to demonstrate their answers to the question “If you controlled the world, what would you do?”
http://mediatedcultures.net/mediatedculture.htm, second video on the list.

T.H.E. Journal
T.H.E. Journal is an online destination and a print publication dedicated to the intersection of education and technology. The website has a distinctly “Web 1.0” feel with few interactive features, but its information is nonetheless quite useful, particularly for those looking for descriptions and reviews of products and particular technologies. There is not much content on the impact of technology on the quality of education, and there is extensive reporting on classrooms, schools, and districts that have implemented specific technologies. If you’re wondering how Bluetooth-enabled interactive whiteboards work, or which states are considering open source textbooks, T.H.E. Journal is the place to go.

Edutopia’s Digital Generation Project
Edutopia’s Digital General Project looks at technology and education with a particular perspective: young people are “digital natives” from whom educators and parents have much to learn. The Digital Generation Project’s aim is for adults to understand the ways that collaborative technologies inform learning, allowing powerful opportunities to harness students’ orientation to technologically mediated learning. The site provides profiles of young content creators and overviews of the tools and technology that can transform teaching, learning, and collaboration.

Honor Moorman also suggests several books (pages and ink: also technology!) that serve as guides to the economic, social, and technological terrain into which students and educators are heading:

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas Friedman

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink

Here Comes Everybody: A book about organizing without organizations by Clay Shirky

The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economics, Societies and Nations by James Surowiecki

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams