I subscribe to the ZDNET education updates which is a blog maintained by a fellow educator (in the US) called Christopher Dawson. His most recent post was regarding social networking and other web 2.0 tools (go to http://education.zdnet.com/?p=1928&tag=nl.e623 or click on the title to view Chris' post). The tool he was referring to was Ning, but this was NOT what got my attention. What did get my attention was the example he gave of schools using web 2.0 tools. He was blogging about how a group (cluster) of state schools in New York city are using social networking sites and cell phones to support their students' learning. His post has an excert from that article but you can go to this link, Village Voice to view the complete article. What was interesting about the article was how the schools were collecting data on how the use of the technology was improving outcomes for their students. The US may be transfixed with testing and collecting data on student performance, while we in NZ believe that education is so much more than that just test scores. However, in this case it is showing us teachers in NZ that technology can make a difference, and that the difference (value added) can be measured. The article also makes reference to a website called classroom 2.0. This is a space dedicated to those interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative or transformative technologies. Isn't this what we are about in our eLearning clusters, whether they are ICT PD, EHSAS or simply VC.
Our NZ curriculum provides us with the opportunity to transform education in New Zealand. We have the technology, we have the tools, we now need to transform.