The next wave now: web 2.0.

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An Annotation by Jeff Ayer

This article, geared mostly for administrators and superintendents, makes a great argument for using Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom and district webpage alike.  Mills essentially works to convince on an admin level that it is time to get teachers on board with technologies that could become updated as they learn to use and implement them.  Mills asserts,

“. . . the pace of Web 2.0 technologies can almost ensure another process or tool will be gaining notoriety and presence among our students as quickly as we gain an awareness and understanding of these established tools” (4).

That being said, Mills encourages educational leaders who “can and should play a major role in understanding and supporting Web 2.0 technologies” (4).

In particular, Mills makes clear the advantages, but also the way in which a superintendent or administrator must go about winning teachers over with these technologies.

“[S]uperintendents need to take the reins of the implementation.  A great introduction in your district is to use the tools in your daily work” (5).

Mills lists blogs on the district web page, RSS feeds to the site in order to inform constituents and parents of school district updates, events, and news, and professional development opportunities that incorporate the given tools.

As Mills closes, he also identifies the importance of district policies needing updates as the technologies have changed.

“The top-down approach of the Web we grew up with now has been replaced with users who build information from the bottom up.  With Web 2.0, the focus is not on software, but on practices such as sharing thoughts and information through self-publishing and harnessing the collective intelligence of all users to generate information and solve problems” (4).

Because of this shift, districts need to review policies on popular sites my MySpace, because the nature of these sites and who is using them has also changed.

“With presidential candidates now providing platform information via their MySpace pages, should allowances be made for access to these pages to use for discussion in the classroom?” (5).

Calling the incorporation of these technologies into the classroom “part of this likely revolution,” Mills makes clear that these technological advances are coming, with the public education system or without it.

Mills, L. B.  (2007, December).  The next wave now:  web 2.0.  Education digest:  4-5.

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