That's my story, and I'm sticking to it...
At IL-TCE 2006, keynote speaker David Warlick challenged educators to begin telling a new story. As educators, we have a responsibility to “observe, reflect and talk to each other… talk in the community and publish.” Emerging twenty-first century tools, such as blogs, wikis and podcasting, provide powerful technologies to transform practice and enable learners to communicate and collaborate with each other.
Since last year, I have witnessed an increase in the amount of "educational" blogging at our school. More teachers are working with podcasting technologies. Two teachers from my school, Dan Larsen and Andy Conneen, (presenting at the conference on Thursday) will be sharing how students are collaborating in the blogosphere, and how it may impact their "political" thinking.
Andy Carvin's Dec. 1 post "Understanding the Impact of Online Communities on Civic Engagement" to the PBS Learning.now website validates this approach to learning. Andy shares his comments on the recent study published by the USC Annenberg School on the impact of the Internet on American society.
Andy shares, "one of the most interesting results of the survey is the suggestion that online communities have a direct impact on civic participation. Just over one-fifth of online community members - 20.3 percent - take action offline for a cause related to their online communities at least once a year. Nearly 65 percent of online community members say they now engage in civic causes that were new to them when they started going online, while an additional 43.7 percent say they participate in social activism more since they’ve joined their online communities."
Case in point....on Dan and Andy's CitizenU's blog site, 285 comments were logged during President Bush's State of the Union address!