Just a new way to conduct old-fashioned teaching?

Net Neutrality and Education

Why does it matter?


Ahead to 2011

Happy New Year everyone! The holidays didn't quite permit me the time to post as I thought they would, so I guess it's time to get back to it now that the new year is here.

Thinking about what I want to do in 2011, a couple of things come to mind.

Stay Connected to Issues

There was a lot that transpired in 2010 in the educational venue - Michelle Rhee in the D.C. school system and her creation of Students First, the National Technology Education Plan, President Obama's moves to support education, NBC Network's Education Nation conversation. Several of those I felt that I was only aware of peripherally or after-the-fact, and I feel kind of irresponsible about that. My personal feeling is that, within my lifetime, there's going to be a radical upheaval in education that will shift how teaching and learning appear - hopefully, some of these initiatives are going in the right direction (Education Nation bringing the conversation about education to the forefront), although some perhaps are not (Michelle Rhee's tactics). In any case, I'm going to spend some time retroactively looking at some of those issues (posts to follow).

Stay Connected to People

One concept which has grown exponentially with the increase in connectivity tools - Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, online learning, etc. - is the Personal Learning Network (PLN). Those who have embraced it have found fantastic uses for it, such as on-demand training and assistance, connecting with people at local and national conferences, etc. Most educators have similar networks in place but might not have an actual label for it. Our school district is shortly (by the end of January, hopefully) going to move towards removing some of our restrictive internet filters on teacher accounts, so that faculty and staff can access sites that might have some educational relevance. These include the sites I mentioned above, but also Google Images, YouTube and other similar media sites.

With our faculty now being able to access these tools at school, it makes their Personal Learning Network - and mine - much more accessible. Those teachers who may not have a data plan or smart phone in order to access those sites around our firewall (alas, I fall into that category) can now access them using their school laptops, and reap the benefits of PLN's. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to collect some information and relevant blog posts to share with my staff on developing and utilizing their PLN and create an online training using our course management system.

That's a start - don't want to bite off more than I can chew. After a disappointingly silent end of 2010 for techieteacher, I want to get back into the swing of things. Those two things will give me plenty to do.