FETC Session Focus: Can Web 2.0 Transform Education?


The potential for Web 2.0 technologies to transform education has not been lost on K-12 teachers, administrators, or policy chiefs. But the technologies are new and somewhat risky. To make sense of all of this, and to explore the ways in which Web 2.0 can be used effectively in education, several sessions and workshops at the FETC conference this week will focus on the practice and theory of Web 2.0.

Thursday Sessions
Beginning Thursday, Chris Dede of the Harvard Graduate School of Education will host a session entitled "How Web 2.0 Tools are Transforming 'Learning' and 'Knowledge,'" in which he'll discuss wikis, social tagging, and other transformative teaching technologies and strategies and the impact of Web 2.0 technologies on the expectations teachers place on students. The session will take place at 10:35 a.m. in room 320EF.

John Thompson of Buffalo State University will also be on hand with a session entitled "Web 2.0 Applications for Educators." This session will explore Web 2.0 from a more practical perspective, looking at the technologies available to educators. This session will also take place at 10:35 a.m. Thursday. It will be held in room 220A.

At 12:30 p.m. Thursday, John Kuglin of the Eagle-Vail School District will tackle the issue of 21st century education in the context of Web 2.0 in a session entitled "Web 2.0--The Digital Toolkit for the 21st Century." The session will focus on how students are shifting away from their previous role as consumers of information to producers of information through Web 2.0 technologies. It will be held in room 320GH.

Karen Kliegman, library media specialist at Searingtown School in New York, will also host a session tackling Web 2.0 with an eye toward exploring which technologies help to "deepen learning, capture student-voice, and lead to improvement in student achievement." The session, entitled "Web 2.0 Tools: More Than Razzle-Dazzle," will take place at 1:50 p.m. Thursday in room 220B.

Zac Chase of the Science Leadership Academy, will take on Web 2.0 from the professional development perspective in his session entitled "Separate but Equal(ly Driven): Owning Educator Learning through 2.0." The presentation will be held Thursday at 3:10 p.m. in room 330E.

Two Web 2.0 sessions will be held during the final session of Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Gail Lovely of Lovely and Associates will present "Web 2.0 Meets Grade 2.0: Using New Tools with Young Learners" in room 320EF. And Elizabeth Wolzak will shine the spotlight on teacher professional development and collaborative technologies using Web 2.0 tools in her presentation, "Reinventing Online PD: Peer Collaboration & Web 2.0 Tools."

Friday Sessions
There will be three additional Web 2.0-focused sessions Friday, Jan. 25. At 12:30 p.m., Michelle Bourgeois will look at one of the more agreeable aspects of Web 2.0 technologies in education: free software. She'll lead a session entitled "Web 2.0: Free Online Tools to Create, Communicate and Collaborate," to be held in room 220B.

At 1:50 p.m., David Widener of the Woodward Academy in Georgia will host "Web 2.0: Real Life Application in the Classroom," in which he'll explore " blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other collaborative tools provide educators with the opportunities for their students to create, collaborate and participate."

And, finally, at the final session of the show, Friday at 3:10 p.m., Julie Evans from Project Tomorrow will host "Students 'Speak Up' about Emerging Technologies for Learning 2.0," in which she'll discuss the attitudes of students toward new technologies and their impact on learning based on data collected in the 2007 Speak Up National Survey.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at [email protected].

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at [email protected].

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .