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Classroom 2.0: An Upgrade To Teaching And Learning

14 October 2007 No Comment


Classroom 2.0 isn’t a program or at least any one program. It’s a mindset, a style, a way of encountering the learner, and the learner encountering back. The classroom 1.0 model has teachers in the place of authority-not a bad place to be. The students enter the classroom, receive the knowledge, and then spit it out on a test. Some classes utilize student feedback, but from my experience many either don’t or don’t have the chance. Enter Classroom 2.0.

A common buzz word making it’s way around the net is Web 2.0. It’s a change in the way people perceive the internet. Before recently, people encountered the internet in a one-way atmosphere-a page author serving many viewers. Some people published answers and others logged in to see those answers. Web 2.0 is all about collaboration. Image that same site you visited to get an answer, but now have the ability to leave comments, form discussions, edit the answer, or take the answer further. Instead of having a page author and many viewers you now have a founder who is a part of a larger community that interacts and builds. Sites like Wikipedia, Myspace, Facebook, Digg, they all have these abilities to network and collaborate, and they make up a large part of what is Web 2.0.

Classroom 2.0 is much the same way. It’s the idea of networking a class of students and building on knowledge, making it real and relevant. And it’s using these Web 2.0 technologies that drive it. You now have class wikis and blogs. Places where a problem can be suggested and the network of students build, edit and suggest new ideas for the answer. Beyond that, content is published so student authors and artists have a way of expressing themselves with a real audience via the web.

So why now?

Technology has grown immensly. People no longer have to know how to edit html, css, php, or any type of coding. It’s simple, you sign up, select your layout, invite your members and begin publishing. Students then log in, read, edit, suggest, build, network.

Students crave it. They already spend the majority of their time online, and love it. It’s where they interact with people and share their ideas. They already learn from it. Why not use it.

It meets them where they are. Image a student goes to a concert, visits a landmark, watches the news or a movie, or reads a book outside of school and on their own time. Just doing something that they are interested in. How many teachers would dive at the chance to pop up over their shoulder for a couple of seconds to point out the educational value of what they are doing. That would be so relevant to them. Students already do all of these activities on the net. Why not have a place of your own set up for them so that they can voice these ideas, get feedback, or suggestions.

Where is it happening?

A handful of teachers are already doing this. You can read a better description of classroom 2.0 here. And if I’ve got you really excited then maybe check out this live community. It’s a community of teachers that is already using these collaborative technologies. You can read about how to set up your own wiki or blog, or check out my article on it here.

Already use classroom 2.0? Leave us a comment about your experience. Want to know more about a particular part of Classroom 2.0? We want to hear that too. Maybe we can help you find what you are looking for.

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