Friday, May 25, 2007

Profile Picture

I guess I should tag this post as educational technology. For some strange reason my blogger profile picture stopped loading. I changed it and used a different picture, but then it stopped again. Maybe, I am just to rough looking for blogger. And who said that computers didn't have taste!

Warning! I am posting it again below and going to upload it to the profile area and see if I get better results. Maybe, the size of the picture was too large. I'll edit it first and then upload it here. Wish me luck!


William Bishop (Bill) aka lostjohns

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No rest for the weary!

Since Thursday I have been under the weather. I had to take my oldest daughter to the doctor and she has strep. Then yesterday I went to the doctor and they said I had it too. I haven’t missed any school, but I haven’t really felt like blogging. Nevertheless, I have been doing some more research on School 2.0. I’m trying to put the final polish on a presentation that I am going to give this summer at the AETC. Hence, I thought a fitting title for this post would be “No rest for the weary.”

Currently, I am trying to pin down the graphics for the presentation. I don’t want the presentation to be the typical run of the mill Power Point. I want to move the presentation beyond bullet points. I’d love for it to be like Dick Hardt’s Identity 2.0 keynote at OSCON. If you haven’t seen his presentation, you’re missing out. The concept of Identity 2.0 is great, but the presentation itself is phenomenal. My presentation probably won’t even come close to his, but I’m not going to give up hope. I am going to keep on keeping on until I get a presentation that’s close.

This School 2.0 thing that arose out of the ashes of Web 2.0 like a phoenix is what keeps me going. Well, this and the fact that I care about the future of our students and our society as a whole. Also, I’ll keep on keeping on because it is a part of my nature. Keeping on is something that my father instilled in me as a child. The man is sixty and although he retired from his job last year, he hasn’t let stopped working. I am very thankful that I have a father that instilled in me a strong work ethic among other things. As such, I am trying to pass it on to my children and my students. We need to do the same thing with School 2.0. We need to work diligently to sale School 2.0 within our local school settings and beyond for the sake of all children and the future.


William Bishop (Bill)

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Horizon Project: What will 2020 be like?

What will 2020 be like?

From Vickie’s Blog today, I found these videos from the horizon project that she found at Julie's Blog and I am adding them to my blog. Why don’t you add them to your blog so others can add them to their blogs.

What will 2020 be like? Remember the Internet started up in the early nineties and look where we are now. Part of Karl Fisch’s video comes to mind. Can you remember what life was like BG [Before Google]? Enjoy the videos!

Atif is from the ISD school in Bangladesh and this is his video…

Ginger is from the Shanghai School in China and this is her video…

Thanks Vickie and Julie for sharing these with us and thanks for the Horizon Project


William Bishop (Bill)

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

My Scrapblog

I send my scrapblog in the previous post via Scrapblog's built in tools. If you haven't seen scrapblog it's a really great Web 2.0 tool. It's online and you can set your scrapblogs up as public or private. Also, you can import photos to scrapblog from Flickr, PhotoBucket, Webshots, or you can upload them from your PC directly to scrapblog. What a great Web 2.0 tool for the classroom.

The classroom2.0 scrapbook was my first attempt at using the software and it turned out fine with the exception of one little item. I put a video on the last page and embedded on top of the iPod picture, but it doesn't play in the previous post. Nevertheless, you can go and view the scrapblog with the embedded movie at my scrapblog. It works fine there but you may have to flip through manually or pause the scrapblog player on the last page to allow the video to load. Of course, you have to click play on the movie!

I am going to use the code and embed the scrapblog directly into this post to see if it makes a difference with the movie player. Keep your fingers crossed!

If the movie didn't load checkout the scrapblog at if you want to see it. It's the movie I uploaded to YouTube a couple of weeks back "Are we there yet?"


William Bishop (Bill)

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My new scrapblog

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cadavers and School 2.0

I took some of the Anatomy students down to one of the labs at UAB on Monday to get some hands on experience. When I say hands on experience, I mean it in every sense of the word. What is a Spanish teacher doing carrying a group of students to an anatomy lab? Well, I have a CDL and someone has to drive the bus! I hate leaving my Spanish students behind, but UAB where I am a Doctoral Student in the Educational Leadership department is one of the only universities in the nation that allows undergraduates to work with human cadavers. I started taking this trip with the anatomy teacher at my school and I’m happy to go anytime she needs me. It’s not everyday that you get to view human cadavers or actually touch and examine cadaver parts.

Some people may think that this is gross, but it is actually a tremendous learning experience. Of course, occasionally some students faint. None of our students have fainted as of yet, but some have turned white and have had to leave the lab. Nevertheless, this is one of the best hands-on field trips ever and I’m happy that caring individuals donate their bodies to science.

During our visit the lab director said that most universities were moving away from human cadaver research. Then he asked if anyone knew what was replacing cadaver research at universities. Drum roll please! The answer is virtual reality. Universities have started using virtual reality to teach various medical techniques including surgery. Being the computer geek that I am, I knew the answer. Peter Pollack wrote an interesting piece about this back in March for AAOS. This is just one of the many ways that virtual reality is being tested and applied within the educational setting.

Should virtual reality replace human cadaver research? I don’t think that it should and neither does the lab director. In contrast, we both believe that it should be used in combination with cadaver research. It’s like web 2.0 technologies. As teachers, we should be using these technologies, but we shouldn’t give up on effective educational strategies of the past. Sure school 2.0 is great, but sometimes we still need to go to the lab and dissect a frog or a cadaver.

My suggestion is that we use a combination of educational methods to make sure that our students are properly prepared for the future. School 2.0 isn’t about replacing teaching strategies that work, it’s about improvement. Some traditional teaching methods should at all cost remain in tact, while others should be cast by the wayside.

As 2.0 enthusiasts, we should continue to promote School 2.0, but we shouldn’t sacrifice good teaching or demand that teachers give up on tried and true methods. Instead, we should be asking why, what, and how can we use 2.0 methods to enhance teaching and learning. It’s not about redesigning the wheel it’s about making a better one. The wagon wheel works great for wagons, but I prefer something with a little more rubber and stability on my car. That’s just me!


William Bishop (Bill)

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The School 2.0 lens

I’ve been re-visiting what all of the gurus in the blogosphere have to say about School 2.0 preparing for my upcoming presentation at the 2007 Alabama Educational Technology Conference (AETC). The problem that I’m having is that the concept [school 2.0] is still an emerging concept. Within a school, when all of our classrooms reach the status of Classroom 2.0 through teaching 2.0 our schools will have arrived as 2.0 schools. However, it isn’t about the school or the classroom per se. It’s about applying Web 2.0 technologies to the educational process to empower and energize our students. It’s about using available teaching methods to promote learning. Web 2.0 tools are the catalyst of School 2.0 and 2.0 learning.

School 2.0 is simply a frame or a way of re-framing the way we do business as educators. It’s a new lens. School 2.0 is a lens to look through to see what we are doing and what we should be doing in the field of education with Web 2.0 tools. John Seely-Brown in an interview with Steve Hargadon emphasis that the Cartesian way of thinking "I think therefore I am" should be a thing of the past. Instead, we should be looking through the lens and be thinking “we participate therefore we are." This puts a twist on the way most individuals view schools and learning.

With school 2.0 we aren’t moving away from learning, we are learning to learn differently via new technologies. I was listening to Silvia aka langwitches podcast from the 2006 k12online conference again and she points out numerous ways to use iPods and podcasting in the classroom. Silvia is using the School 2.0 lens and showing others how to frame and facilitate the educational process with one of the many Web 2.0 tools that’s available for educators. As such, the whole School 2.0 concept should change the way students participate in and beyond the classroom.

There’s always hope!

William Bishop (Bill)

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Cup of Joe School 2.0 Style

I log into lostjohns and I find that Silvia aka langwitches was nice enough to drop in and leave a comment. Moreover, she even took the time to write a blog post of her own about what I wrote. How thoughtful! As a result of her post, Joe Dale visited lostjohns and left a comment of his own. Along with his comment he was nice enough to provide various links where Silvia had dropped by and left comments at his blog. I feel like I was provided with my cup of Joe for the day as a result of Joe’s visit. Actually, I’m not old enough to drink coffee yet. I’ve tried it, but it’s not my cup of tea.

In contrast, Joe’s blog is exactly my cup of tea. He has set up a blog called Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom. ICT stands for Information Communication Technologies and MFL stands for Modern Foreign Language [Joe can correct me if I am wrong about either of the abbreviations]. I spent a little time browsing Joe’s site and it provides a great deal of information about integrating information communication technologies into the modern foreign language classroom. It’s a blog that lives up to its name. I added Joe’s blog to my feeds and plan to spend some time in the future reviewing the site. What a great contact to have…

What does all of this have to do with technology? It’s called digital social networking. It isn’t MySpace, Facebook, or Bebo, it is better. I can’t think of a better way to learn about ICTs for my classroom, than discussing it other foreign language teachers that are using them in their classrooms. The premise of digital social networking is that I share what I know and they share what they know. We are no longer isolated by the school and classroom walls. Talk about taking it global! This is what School 2.0 is all about and it isn’t limited by locale.

I’d like to thank Silvia and Joe for connecting with me. I look forward to reading their blogs and conversing with them in the future. I believe that I will learn a lot of information that I will be able to take back and apply within my local school setting. It’s informal professional development school 2.0 style.


William Bishop (Bill)

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Friday, May 11, 2007

100th Blog Post and Silvia Tolisano

I feel like it’s my birthday today because this is my 100th blog post since I started blogging back in October of 2006. As such, I was contemplating the significance of this blog and I have come to the realization that it has helped me more professionally than I could have ever imagined. I am constantly reading other blogs, searching the web, digital social networking and trying to keep up with emergent technologies. Who would have ever imagined that I would gain so much knowledge just by keeping an ole blog? I guess it’s like Joel Osteen says, “If you have a need, plant a seed.” As result of planting this blog seed, I am constantly coming across relevant information and networking in and beyond the blogosphere.

Today I finally connected with Silvia Tolisano aka Langwitches. Silvia was a part of the 2006 K12online conference, but somehow I overlooked her presentation. Luckily, I found it and contacted her today due to Vickie Davis’ blog. Silvia was a very fortuitous find as I had been looking for someone that was using iPods, and podcasting with Spanish classes. I can’t believe that I had overlooked her for so long. Chris Craft had mentioned her name but somehow during our conversation I didn’t make the connection. Moreover, she added me as a friend on the Classroom 2.0 network at ning a while back and I still didn’t make the connection. The “langwitches” bit kept throwing me off. I didn’t associate the “lang” with language. The Forest Gump, adage “Stupid is as stupid does” seems quite fitting for my failure to make the connection with lang and language. I’m sorry Silvia!

Who is Silvia Tolisano and why am I so flattered to be social networking with her? Silvia aka Langwitches was born in Germany, raised in Argentina, and is currently living in the United States. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish with a Minor in International Relations and a Masters in Education with an emphasis on Instructional Technology. I bet she speaks German too. What a cool contact! Silvia is also responsible for a number of great sites (e.g. langwitches, langwitchesblog, langwitches wiki, langwitches podcast, langwitches mobile blog, travel blog Argentina, and a Spanish II blog). Did I mention that she was also a part of the 2006 K12online conference?

I have been browsing through her sites and they’re all wonderful. She provides a wealth of information covering numerous topics. If you have been overlooking Silvia aka Langwitches, I suggest checking out her sites. I love her headings at the langwitches’ sites, “The magic of language learning through technology and the magic of learning through technology.” Now I understand the name “langwitches.” Just call me Forest! After all, I am from Alabama and I did graduate from the University of Alabama, so if the shoe fits…

What a fortuitous find for my 100th blog post!

P.S. The picture is for Silvia aka langwitches.


William Bishop (Bill)

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Educational Technology, The Roles of School 2.0, and Systemic Technology Planning

One of the biggest problems integrating technology within the school setting is a lack of systemic technology planning. Often we integrate technology for the sake of integrating technology, but to adequately integrate technology within our schools and to move toward School 2.0 we must do better planning. For example, we need to understand why we are integrating technology, what types of technology need to be integrated, and how the process will improve student learning? School 2.0 may be the best path, but we need to understand why, what, and how.

I decided to add my video “Are we there yet?” to Google Video today and I found a video of Tim Manger (Director of the Office of Educational Technology) discussing School 2.0. The sound on the video isn’t very good and the graphics on the data screen are too small to read, but luckily I was able to get a web address. I found an excellent School 2.0 map there. The graphic can be downloaded in PDF format from the site. It’s an excellent map of how School 2.0 should function and the concept is clearly defined both on the site and with the graphical representation.

Moreover, the map defines process areas of School 2.0 and breaks it down into digestible chunks. I’m sure many of you have seen this map, but I thought it was worth sharing again. I plan to create some posters of the map and hang them around my school. Enjoy!

William Bishop (Bill)

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What’s in your toolbox?

I was at the powerful conversations/21st Century Learning Initiative yesterday and something someone said kept nagging at me. An individual from one of the presenting groups stated, “We thought our teachers needed tools to embrace 21st Century Learning.” It reminded me of the line from Batman where the Joker asks “Where does he get all of those wonderful tools?” The premise hinges on the philosophy that educators need a toolbox of Web 2.0 tools if they are to truly be successful at integrating technology into their classrooms. As such, I set out on a mission to find the best [free] tools for a School/Classroom2.0 toolbox. Here are my top eleven picks…Enjoy!

  1. OpenOffice (productivity/office)

  2. Mozilla Firefox (browser)

  3. Skype portable (Internet telephony)

  4. Audacity (sound editing)

  5. Microsoft Photo Story 3 (Create Photo Stories)

  6. VLC Media Player (plays audio/video)

  7. Wink (Tutorial and Presentation creation software)

  8. Moodle (Classroom Management Software)

  9. Gliffy (Online Diagram Creator)

  10. Tuxpaint (drawing program for children)

  11. VLC Media Player - plays video/audio.


William Bishop (Bill)

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Powerful Conversations and 21st Century Learning

Pictured: Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and John Norton

Today some colleagues and I had the opportunity to attend the last powerful conversations quarterly meeting which showcased a few projects from the Alabama Best Practices Center’s 21st Century learning initiative. Numerous schools took part in the showcase from throughout the state. Cathy Gassenheimer opened the meeting followed by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach who addressed 21st Century Learning with an amazing presentation. Her presentation closely resembled Karl Fisch’s amazing video “Did you know.” What a powerful way to get educators on the 21st Century Learning path. Another notable guest at the meeting was John Norton who is editor of “Working toward Excellence”. Also, Allyson Knox a liaison for Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Program was in attendance and spoke to the audience. It was an honor to be able to attend and take part in the discourse of the day’s events.

Although any of the schools could have provided noteworthy presentations, three schools were chosen to present at the meeting. The schools presenting were George Hall Elementary, Challenger Middle School, and Cullman Middle School. Each of these presentations was wonderful and showcase how 21st Century Technologies can be utilized within the school setting. My personal favorite was the Challenger Middle School presentation. I was fortuitous, as I was able to speak with Barry Leshinsky briefly about podcasting and the potential of podcasting for the future.

Within my school system we are trying to secure a classroom set of iPods or MP3 players to use with our classes next year. A few of my colleagues and I actually have a meeting this week to discuss the educational benefits of having a classroom set of these devices. Maybe we will be able to secure the funds and purchase them before next year. If not, we will continue to listen to podcasts via our media labs and classroom computers until we can secure a set.

As for the meeting, the entire day was a successful showcase and provided amble discourse for educators about 21st Century learning. I was honored to be in attendance and brought back a number of ideas to help move our school toward School 2.0. Moreover, I was flattered that John Norton and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach actually recognized me from the blogosphere. John actually complemented this blog. That was a very thoughtful gesture and means a lot to me coming from an intelligent individual like John. Unfortunately, this was the last meeting of the year and I may not have face-to-face contact with John or Sheryl for sometime. Fortunately, we are in the 21st Century and I can visit them via Web 2.0 technologies at anytime.

If it wasn’t for this program I wouldn’t have created or helped create the following sites.
Lost Johns (This Site)
Bishop Blog (A Spanish Blog) I hope to fine-tune this site in the near future.
BishopBlogs Wiki (A Spanish Class Wiki) I hope to tweak this site when time allows.
HHS Library Media Center Wiki (A library media wiki)
Moodle at HHS (Intranet only) We hope to make accessible via the Internet next year.

I’m just happy that our school system could be a part of such a wonderful program. As such, I’d like to thank all of the individuals involved with the 21st Century Learning Initiative. It is an outstanding program and I have acquired a great deal of knowledge that I would not otherwise have obtained. As such, I plan to share this knowledge with others to promote 21st Century learning for the educational future of our schools. After all, we are living in extraordinary times and our students deserve more than just seat time. What a wonderful program!


William Bishop (Bill)

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Are we there yet? School2.0, Classroom2.0, NextGen Teaching

I took some time this weekend to create a video of my classes moving toward School 2.0, Classroom 2.0 and NextGen Teaching with technology. The integration of theses technologies into my classes is the result of the Alabama Best Practices Centers 21st Learning Initiative, K12Online, School2.0, Classroom2.0, and also a number of other individuals both within and outside of my local school setting. Thanks! We’re still not where we want to be, but my classes and I are currently on the 21st century path. We hope our video helps other teachers get on the 21st century path as well. Enjoy! Note: The teachtube clip doesn't play as well as the youtube clip. I don't know why...

This video is located at TeacherTube

and YouTube

Note: HHS Students are not allowed on YouTube at school. You may watch the embedded video here, but don't click on the YouTube link. Thanks

Feel free to share this video with others. Thanks

The song Graduation is by the artist Vitamin C


William Bishop (Bill)

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Papa Satcher

As a fundraiser to support our high school’s Renaissance Project our Principal Roger Satcher AKA Papa Satcher prepares the last pizza of the night at Pizza Hut. Thanks Mr. Satcher!

A number of faculty and staff members from my school helped with the fundraiser and I'd like to thank each of them for helping with the project. You are the best! Also, I'd like to thank Pizza Hut for providing us with this great fundraising opportunity. It's great having businesses like Pizza Hut supporting our school. The Renaissance Project is a process promoting academics within our school. Here are some pictures!


William Bishop (Bill)

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

School 2.0 and Classroom 2.0

School 2.0 is the adaptation of Web 2.0 technologies within the school setting. When discussing School 2.0 with others I find that School 2.0 and Classroom 2.0 are very similar. Maybe, this is why Steve Hargadon set up both School 2.0 and Classroom 2.0 social networking sites at Ning. School 2.0 encompasses the broader perspective of how technology is being applied throughout the school setting, whereas Classroom 2.0 is more individualized on a per teacher/classroom basis. I am continually learning something new and passing it along to my students via these technologies. The passing along bit is a good example of how School 2.0 transforms into Classroom 2.0. Nevertheless, there is a fine line between what I call old school, School 1.0, and School 2.0. My previous post attempts to explain the differences between these schools as I see them.

How I am experimenting with School 2.0/Classroom 2.0 technologies.

When my students enter the media lab tomorrow, they will logon to the school network and then go directly to moodle (i.e. classroom management software). In moodle I have set up a class for each of the classes that I teach. Once students login an assignment has been posted and they find the post and then follow the instructions to complete their assignment. The only problem that I currently have with moodle within my school setting is that it is only accessible via the Intranet. Internet access to moodle would be a great advantage for students that are absent and for students that work slower than others. I hope this will change in the very near future.

When my students login to moodle tomorrow they will be directed to our class blog [Bishop Blog]. At the class blog, I have set up podcasts/MP3s that provide the day’s lesson. While and after listening to the audio files my students will complete their assignments. Three of my classes will be listening to a very short audio file and then they will work on adding information to a previous presentation. When they finish they will upload their presentation to moodle to be graded. However, before I grade the presentation, they will present the presentation in class for their peers and as a collaborative we will look for and correct the errors. I have the students point out the errors and I make sure they do this in a non condemning way. I interject my 2 cents based on my professional knowledge and my students go back and make the corrections. At some point in time we will share the best presentations at our class wiki [Bishop Blogs Wiki]. Some basic presentations have already been added to our wiki.

My other classes will listen to a longer podcast that explains and asks a series of questions. These students will create a word processing document with their answers and upload it to moodle to be graded. Like the presentations, these docments will be reviewed in class as a collaborative and students will point out the errors and suggest corrections. Again, I will interject my 2 cents based on my professional knowledge. At some point in time we hope to share some of these documents at our class wiki along with the original MP3 files. After the classes finish their assignments they are required to add comments to the blog post for their assignment.

Currently, most of the aforementioned technology is being used in a Classroom 2.0 fashion, with exception to the blog. Sure, I am adding audio files and creating assignments there, but students aren’t currently blogging on their own. They are merely commenting on the assignments. In the future I hope to help students set up personal blogs of their own related to class content and I would like to establish a safe social networking site for my students that we don’t have to block. Next year, I am certain that I will have some of my students creating class content related podcasts and maybe even some vodcasts. I hope to have other teachers applying these technologies to exemplify the true meaning of School 2.0 as well.

Suggestions that will to improve my classes are welcome! Moreover, tell me how you are using Web 2.0 technologies in your classes or in your school…


William Bishop (Bill)

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Old School, School 1.0, or School 2.0?

Old School, School 1.0, or School 2.0?

Take a little time and think about the true meaning of the above concepts. What are they? Sometimes a couple of these topics seem like more than a conundrum. Old school for example has become something of a cliché. When teachers or individuals refuse to embrace change we often hear “That’s old school.” How appropriate! As such, I was reading the article from Time “How to Bring our Schools out of the 20th Century” [via the link at the school 2.0 wiki] and I thought that the introductory significantly framed the current predicament of many U.S. school systems. They’re stuck in the old school rut and they don’t really want out.

Wallis and Steptoe (2006) sum it up with an analogy, “Rip Van Winkle awakens in the 21st century after a hundred-year snooze and is, of course, utterly bewildered by what he sees. Men and women dash about, talking to small metal devices pinned to their ears. Young people sit at home on sofas, moving miniature athletes around on electronic screens. Older folk defy death and disability with metronomes in their chests and with hips made of metal and plastic. Airports, hospitals, shopping malls--every place Rip goes just baffles him. But when he finally walks into a schoolroom, the old man knows exactly where he is.” Unfortunately, this heartbreaking analogy is a reality in a lot of U.S. school systems. Sure we have a computer in almost every room, but often it isn’t used for anything more than taking attendance, submitting grades, and checking/sending electronic mail. With the exception of a few gizmos and gadgets, nothing has really changed since the early 1900’s. This is Old School!

Schools systems that are willing to spend money or that have money to spend are ahead of these “old school” schools, but not by much. These schools fall in the 1.0 category (i.e. School 1.0). They have the technology in house to use, but few teachers if any are actually integrating the technology into their classrooms. A typical 1.0 school uses technology for the sake of using technology. For example, if you did a walk through, you’d find teachers using LCD projectors or SmartBoards to show video clips, movies, and maybe even presentations. School 1.0 really isn’t that bad. Rip Van Winkle would be impressed if he visited a 1.0 school, but these schools are still stuck in the 20th Century rut of traditional schooling. There’s so much more!

What? School 2.0 or course! 2.0 schools embrace, seek out, and find new innovative ways to utilize 21st Century technologies to promote sound pedagogical practices in all classrooms. 2.0 schools are trailblazers. They don’t wait for others to build a road through the jungle; they get out their machetes [technologies] and clear a path. In a typical 2.0 school students are familiar with blogs, wikis, podcasts, classroom management software (e.g. moodle), and social networking. In these schools students are more than just aware of these technologies; they are using them responsibly on a daily basis. If old Rip Van Winkle walked into a 2.0 school, he would most likely go immediately into cardiac arrest. This is School 2.0!

To sum things up, we can’t nor should we embrace School 2.0 as the perfect solution for our schools. School 2.0 is just one piece of the elaborate puzzle, but it’s a significant piece. The tie that binds! The perfect solution is to take all of the best practices from the 20th Century and combine them with School 2.0. Creating a collage of Old School, School 1.0, and School 2.0 practices can bring our schools out of the doldrums of the 20th Century and into the 21st Century. It will have monumental affects on student learning and achievement. Moreover, integrating School 2.0 technologies may even reduce the dropout rate. Isn’t it time we moved our schools into the 21st Century? It’s like this… “If we build it, they will come.”


William Bishop (Bill)

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