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.

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