Widening Opportunities

Through the use of Web 2.0 technologies, educators at the grass roots level can start to make a difference. Through the use of blogs, wikis, podcasts, screencasts and social bookmarking, teachers can spread awareness of the new opportunities for learning and professional development at their local level with the potential to reach a wider network.

Here are some suggested ways for YOU to get involved.
  • Use the many resources available from the edublogger world as presentation starters with your staff or hub group. Karl Fisch's "Did You Know?" slideshow is a great example of what can be utilised. Don't forget to download the accompanying audio.
  • Make the offer to get one other likely person started in blogging or a wiki or a social bookmarking account. "Hand hold" with them until they gain confidence, become enthused and want to share their new found expertise with some one else. Hopefully, this will start to translate into a "snowball" effect.
  • Use Web 1.0 tools to "spread the word" - some examples of this approach could include an article in your school newsletter, putting a copy of Coming Of Age out in the staffroom for others to peruse or e-mail your latest blog entry to the staff. (Someone will read it!)
  • Be active in your local EdTech, computing in education professional group (my example, Computers in
    Education Group of South Australia - CEGSA) Offer to present workshops and presentations at conferences and after school and join committees or interest groups looking to promote Web 2.0 in education to the broader local education community.
  • Encourage anyone you come across "dipping their toes" into Web 2.0 - this could mean commenting on their blog, emailing them a link of interest or relevance. Every bit of encouragement can go a long way to helping newcomers become proficient and in turn, wanting to bring other educators onto the upper part of the Tipping Point.
  • Be opportunistic - when teachers complain about a problem, offer a Web 2.0 solution. Can't find a good map - Google Maps. Need to house a lot of links, feeds and images in the one spot - Pageflakes. Can't keep track of all their favourite web addresses - show them how to start and use a del.icio.us account.
  • Jump into opportunities for yourself - Skypecasts, wikis, online conferences ;-) Develop your own confidence and competencies and get to the stage where you just have to tell someone. You may even want to be part of or initiate something for the wider online education community. Listed below are some examples of educator created and inspired "online hubs for learning" that are worth checking out and serve as excellent examples for others.

Digital Chalkie (hub for Australian educators using ICT.)
EdTech Talk (webcasting network of educators involved in educational technology.)
SEGA Tech (forum for use of technology in Southeast Georgia’s schools.)