Administration and School 2.0

DSCN0223.JPGThese are my only slightly cleaned up notes on session four at the edubloggercon. I’m really not able to do these workshops justice here. I hope that this at least captures some sense of the excitement and collaboration happening here today. Chris Lehmann moderated this much larger group of people… in a much larger room.

Chris: We finally have the tools to realize Dewey’s dream. How do we need to structure our schools to make that happen? (Followed by some clarification of structures.)

Participant: How we spend out time…
Participant: NCLB has to change…
Participant: Use data differently… Not to judge school’s achievement but to improve practice?
Rushton: I’m no NCLB fan, but I’m not sure it’s much worse than the “ignore the student” situation we had before. We need something more to excite a broader swathe of the population (paraphrased).
Chris: I agree… and if School 2.0 is going to work we’re going to need to define our own data before others do. (He gave an example from his school.)

Me thinking: Why on earth is someone taking notes in WORD on the projector… shouldn’t that be on the wiki… or a Google Doc that multiple note-takers could contribute to. (Hm. There needs to be an easier way to get into an impromptu google doc than going through the invite process… people should be able to click their own way in.) Ironically, now Chris ‘s talking about how their planning document was done on Moodle – with weekly chats, asynchronous threads, and document sharing.

Chris: When we break down the walls of our schools, who do we invite in? (Again he gives examples from his school.)

I think I’m going to wander this session. I’m also already enjoying others’ posts in my aggregator. Chris Walsh just walked in… I’m wandering now…

I wandered into each of the other sessions and took pictures. I’m back now. The ISTE NETS refresh session isn’t happening – maybe that’s why this section is huge. I’m back there now, talking with Chris Walsh… while school 2.0 is discussed in the front of the room, Walsh bought a new domain and created a place-holding redirect for it… keep an eye on ;)

This is what I wanted… serendipitous conversations. Unfortunately, at this point, most people are sitting in this room listening. I thought the smaller sessions earlier in the day were more like conversations (with some meaningful structure), but while participants are still piping in here this session is the most like a presentation so far.

Lehmann concludes with “none of these ideas are panaceas, and all of them have dark sides. Ask yourselves what the worst consequence of your idea is… things will go wrong, but we’ll take care of them when they do.” This is a good caveat to the ‘message’ we are talking about spreading here.

Chris Lehmann is great, but this really isn’t an unconference session… he had to end with “thank you all so much.” I hope nobody takes this as a negative reflection on Chris… I was just one of the ones who advocated for more informal conversations. Also, I think this space (and the number of people in it) led people to behave as if it was a presentation. I suppose this is a part of the big experiment.

UPDATE: Based on the final summary of this session during the next segment of the day, it was clear I missed a lot, but much of it seemed focused on the same issues that professional learning communities focus on. I think PLCs and Web 2.0 tools mesh well, but it’s interesting just how much these ideals came up during the day… conversations nearly all quickly turned to discussions of systemic change.

Tag: ebc07as20 / Blog Posts / Blog RSS / Flickr / Flickr RSS

6 Responses to “Administration and School 2.0”

  1. Chris Lehmann Says:


    I agree… I didn’t love how it didn’t feel like an unconference session either. I kept waiting and hoping for the session to take a life of its own, and it didn’t. I don’t know if its because the topic we talked about is one that people are looking for answers, and people were happy to put me in a position to talk about some of the answers we’ve found at SLA… I know that the session was *much* bigger than I thought it would be which kept it from having the intimate feel of the other sessions I was in. I’ve also thought about the ways we built in conversational methods at faculty workshops at school and why what I was hoping was a conversational set-up turned into what it did.

    I was thinking about how when I want to do some real facilitation on hard issues at workshops at SLA — and I think looking at administrative changes is tough, it takes a ton of prep to do well. We do tons of journaling at SLA to do reflective conversations, etc… but I wasn’t sure that was what we were supposed to do. In fact, I was pretty sure I thought it wasn’t. But in the absence of a well-developed lesson plan (for lack of a better term), if this was a session that tackled something a little different, how do we unconference that with forty people in the room?

    (Can you tell I’ve been a bit troubled by this too?)

    — Chris

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  3. Janice Stearns Says:

    Excellent notes, even if you did wander. It would be nice to have a shared doc like a Google Doc to work on. That works so well. The chat feature, if it were added to docs, could make it dynamic.

    The amount of people in the room and the setup didn’t allow for much interaction. The content was important, however. There seems to be a lot of us who are looking for ways to affect change in our schools and in our districts. I was really listening for the how of it all. Sometimes, I just don’t know how to proceed. Baby steps make me so impatient. I want to do something to move it along a little more quickly.

    As many districts, including mine, move into forming Professional Learning Communities, I want to make sure that collaboration and reflection happen effectively, and I can think of no better way than using the tools that connect us online.

  4. Mark Wagner Says:

    Good seeing you at NECC again, Janice. And thanks for the comment. I of course agree whole heartedly. It’s been great to have twitter (and a host of new subscriptions) to continue the feeling of connectedness we established last Saturday.


  5. Mark Wagner Says:

    Hey, Chris. I’m glad we got to chat about this and I guess I’m glad you felt the same way – and I’m particularly glad you didn’t take this as a criticism of you personally. I see from your blog that this session really got you thinking, and that’s always a good thing. I came away with two things… first, if we want a more intimate conversational feel we need to be careful to structure the space that way – I think the room was more to blame than anything else in this case. Second, people wanted (and got) different things from the edubloggercon (and NECC for that matter)… lots of people came away having got a lot out of that session. I think it’s good to remember that different formats may work for different people – and the effectiveness may be particularly dependent on whether or not the topic is relevant to them. In any case, it was good to meet you in Atlanta and I look forward to following your adventures on twitter and on Practical Theory… and perhaps at an edubloggercon or two along the way. We’ll see about Philadelphia…


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