Mozilla’s Curriculum Workshop – Summer Learning

Last week, I had the honor of sitting in on an episode of Mozilla’s Curriculum Workshop, a regular webinar where folks talk but also (and more importantly) do a little prototyping to begin building things that might be useful to helping folks make and learn with the Web.

The active format is great, and I’m a fan of the hosts, so it was cool to join in to talk and iterate a bit around summer learning opportunities. The format reminded of the old EdTechTalk Barn Raising sessions. I wish more conversations were framed as participatory and with a making focus.

I continue to be deeply concerned that the time when professional educators are “allowed” to spend time in deep learning is summertime. If the job of a learning organization is to promote learning, it sure seems to me that avoiding learning until down time or off time is unhealthy and a terrible model for sustainability. At best, it’s just poor modeling for schools to tell children that learning is so important, teachers are too busy to do so until after their “work” is done.

But editorializing aside, it was fun to visit and build some. Here’s a recap of the webinar, and the video is below.

I sure hope you’re making and learning on something good this summer. I’d love to hear what you’re up to.

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Will Ya, Won’t Ya Wiki?

    I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it, but the gang at EdTechTalk will be revisiting the Barnraising on Sunday.  They’re taking another shot at creating a solid, one-stop place for how-tos, whys and whatnots of Web 2.0 for the classroom.  I hope that you can and will stop by, if not during the show time, then before or after, and edit where you think necessary, even if only to add a question.
    Of course, I’m learning that there are several good places around the Internet where you can contribute your ideas and tips and information on how best to use Web 2.0 tools in your classroom and community.  Here’s one and here’s another.   (Aaron’s trying to put together a podcasting wiki , too.)   I’m sure you know of several more.  Maybe we should at least try to get links to all of these great resources in one place.  Maybe someone’s already done it. 

    I’m learning that so many people are afraid to edit a wiki, either because they don’t want to muddy someone else’s water or they don’t feel like they have anything to contribute.
    If there’s any lesson that we all need to learn about Web 2.0, it’s that we all need to be muddying each other’s water, and we all have something to contribute.
    So go do some wiki-ing already.

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Barnraising Afterthoughts

    Just spend a crazy couple of hour writing/drafting/talking/developing the seed of some curricular tools and resources over at the EdTechTalk Barnraising.  I think the core of curriculum is developing, but it will take a significant amount of time and resources over the new few weeks and months to flesh out and create a useful resource for teachers.  We’ve all been creating our own tools and webpages to help us to share knowledge and help other teachers to use Web 2.0 as a classroom device.  It’ll be nice to create a central place to develop and share all of our work. 
    I hope that’s what the EdTechTalk wiki will become.  But it’ll be up to all of us to make sure that what we’ve created becomes more than a collection of neglected wiki pages.
    Here are a couple of things that I’m thinking about as my brain is in super-connective thinking mode.

  • The wiki at EdTechTalk could become one stop shopping for anyone getting started and for those looking to further integrate Web 2.0 in the classroom. 
  • Lots of really smart people have lots of great ideas spread all over the Internet.  How do we centralize that so as to be efficient and not recreating the wheel all of the time?
  • How do we get stakeholders invested in using a central place for all of our resources?  (I don’t mean that everyone should only use one place to write or share, but I do think we could be lots more efficient and effective if we can begin to at least link back to one or two central resources, as well as link ourselves to a few key places.)
  • What are the essential resources/pages/ideas/people that should be linked in to the EdTechTalk wiki?  Who will make the effort to make sure these links get created?
  • What am I overlooking/missing through the haze of my excitement?
  • How does centralization like I’m attempting to describe hurt/harm/conflict with the idea of Small Pieces Loosely Joined?   
  • How can we use the category features of MediaWiki to create a resource that contains multiple ways of organizing and accessing information?
  • Can we pay people to develop some of these ideas further?  Where would the money come from?  Would people want to get paid to develop wiki materials that might and probably will be changed over time?

Can you tell that my mind is racing right now? 

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