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Hi all, 

I would appreciate some feedback on some new thinking. A couple of disparate
recent tidbits of information came together for me this morning and resulted
in a new insight that I would love to get feedback on. This is how I have
stated this in the text for the presentation I am working on Web 2.0 in
Schools: Effective Internet Use Management and Legal Issues.

The disparate tidbits were a recent helpful post on facilitating online
learning, a relatively recent ESchool news post on virtual schools and how
effective they are in bringing together an online learning community, and an
article in Education Week on innovation in schools and two reports this
article referenced. (Bear with me, this is how my weird brain functions.

My first thought when reading the innovations article was: "How are we going
to proceed in implementing web 2.0 instruction in when schools are required
to use evidence-based best practices?"

Then I had a second thought: "The virtual schools have actually already made
great strides in creating online interaction environments."

So I am thinking that what we need to do in Real World school environments
is adapt the successful approaches that are being used in virtual schools
and EXPAND on these approaches to incorporate the benefits that can only be
derived from having teachers and students together.  Virtual Schools Plus.

Here is the material I put into my presentation. I would love some feedback.

Innovation ~ Accountability

The ³Best Practices² Barrier
Incorporating Web 2.0 technologies into instruction will require making
changes. One of the barriers to making changes is the requirement that
instructional programs are evidence-based best practices.
It is impossible to implement evidence-based best practices for using Web
2.0 technologies to provide instruction in 21st Century skills.
The technologies are still emerging and rapidly changing.
Most of the common curriculum standards are grounded in 20th Century skills.
There is insufficient funding for research in education ~ and it can take
years to develop a proposal, find funding, implement a project under
research conditions, collect data, evaluate the data, write the report, get
it peer reviewed, and published. And it is not possible to prove a practice
with just one study.

Continuous Improvement
To proceed with the implementation of Web 2.0 technologies in schools
requires shifting from a focus on evidence-based best practices to an
implementation process that ensures continuous improvement. The steps in
doing this are:
³What do you want students to accomplish?² Clearly state the opportunity,
the challenge, the overall goal the project seeks to address. Outline the
specific instructional process objectives, as well as the instructional
³What do you plan to do and why do you think it will work?² Design an
implementation plan that sets forth proposed action steps ~ along with a
logical analysis of why these action steps are perceived as having a
likelihood of success.
³How are you going to assess the outcomes and use this assessment to improve
the objectives and implementation plan?² Design an evaluation plan for the
new endeavor with the clear intention that the assessment could lead to
changes in the objectives and/or implementation plan.
"How are you going to share your insight and learn from others?" Describe
how the insight obtained will be shared with others and how the approach
implemented will be improved based on recommendations or insight derived
from others. 

Virtual Schools Plus
When implementing Web 2.0 instruction in schools, educators should closely
evaluate the approaches used by successful virtual schools.
Some virtual schools have been very successful in creating online community
among instructors and students who do not generally meet in person.
Thus these programs have already developed instructional approaches that
have been proven to be effective in the online environment.
For Real World schools implementing Web 2.0 instruction, the ³plus² that
needs to be added to the successful virtual schooling approach is the
additional value that can be added because teachers and students are also
participating in the Real World environment.
The ³plus² is the valuable interactions and  activities that involve
students working with each other in conversation and hands-on activities in
their classroom or school environment.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.


Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social
Aggression, Threats, and Distress (Research Press)

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn to Use the
Internet Safely and Responsibly (Jossey-Bass)

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