I read a great article by Ian Grayson in The Australian this week on blogging in the corporate environment.
I think the education sector can learn a lot from industries who are embracing these tools to develop more productive, resource sensitive and creative ways of working. We should not adopt them uncritically, nor should we ignore them out of hand because they are being adopted by business.
One point Ian makes is that a BIG cultural shift is requiredwithin organisations as they work in today’s world. He says the advantages of using these tools (e.g blogs and wikis) is too great to ignore and the “march of Web 2.0 into the corporate space will continue to gather pace.”
These tools are no longer fads. They use proven technologies that are readily available and becoming increasingly more ubiquitous for the simple fact that they assist organisations in improving the way they work.
Why is the education sector lagging behind? Why isn’t our industry leading the thinking and application of such capabilities. Surely we must be on about questioning, challenging and innovation, isn’t this part of our core business? Aren’t things like communication, collaboration, personalisation central to the work we do in schools?
I am beginning to suspect it’s because educators rarely venture out of their own networks or jump into this world themselves. I don’t think you can effectively engage in this agenda in the abstract, you have to be an active participant. This means that educators have to blog, use wikis, have a facebook page, use del.icio.ous and the like. I don’t think the contemporary educator can take this as an optional preference. Just like the picture above – this is the reality in which we live.
Perhaps it’s time to invite industries (who are our students’ future employers) into the learning space to exchange ideas and to demonstrate educators how Web 2.0 is influencing more than just today’s learners. Why shouldn’t we be open to learning from other experts?
The question I have is where are schools at in their thinking about Web 2.0 and how these tools can be used not only in a classroom environment but to establish powerful networks and ultimately robust learning communities between educators?