Sunday, May 2, 2010

This is What Progress Looks Like

A few weeks ago, I wrote a frustrated blog post about my Educational Web Design class. I was just hellaciously shocked about the distance between my own perceptions of the Internet, and typical practitioners' experiences with the networked world. I guess I saw this resistance to participate in Web culture threatening to what I am trying to accomplish academically and professionally, that is, teaching people about mass amateurization and network participation as powerful ways of knowing and being in the world. Publicity about educational leaders who just don't get it tend to put me in defense mode about this sometimes.

However, after seeing some of the students' final projects in progress, I see how wrong I was. These Websites are awesome. Wikis, discussion forums, communication hubs between students and parents, self-tests with feedback built in-- all built from scratch without the crutches of an expensive, pre-packaged course management system or proprietary framework. Some have even mentioned starting to use wikis and blogs as supplemental class activities for high school-age students already this year.

It's amazing what exposure to Web culture and the opportunity to noodle around with digital tools can do to a room full of teachers. And I bet it can do the same to a room full of students.

"Postering for Progress" image courtesy of / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

"NYC - Brooklyn - Williamsburg: OBEY Progress" image courtesy of / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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