Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Snapshot of Social Learning

I checked into my Facebook page and began skimming the posts from friends and colleagues. There's a good mix of social and professional posts. Some I glance over, some make me laugh, some make me cry, and some make me think and learn.

Kevin Jarrett posted a link from that talked about how schools are handling the President's address to the nation's students on Tuesday and the partition reactions that are in the news. The article was right on target. After reading it, I commented to Kevin that it was a great article, and went on to check the other entries on the page.

A few entries down, I came upon a post from Leigh Zeitz that pointed to a new animation site and his first three frame animation. Someone had commented that the page wouldn't load for them, but I had no problem. After visiting, I thought it was pretty cool. I created my own animation that was a commentary on the school speech insanity.
After publishing it, I went back to Leigh's post, commented about it, and created a link to my first attempt.

The President's Speech by awolinsky

At that point, I decided to write this blog entry, because I realized that the ongoing thread and social networking that had just taken place was a great snapshot of one kind of learning that takes place on the social web.

On Tuesday, while the President addresses the students, Ferdi Serim and I will be working with to teachers and folks from the Delaware DoE. Part of what we will be doing is figuring out how the social web can improve learning and their jobs.

This is the kind of learning opportunities we MUST provide for our student, yet the CoSN Leadership and Web 2.0 Leadership survey shows that even though 70% of administrators recognize the value of Web 2.0, for the most part, these tools are NOT being offered.

We are cheating our kids!!! We must facilitate this kind of collaboration and social learning.

I just went back to post a link to this blog entry and saw that Donna Baumbach had also learned from Leigh and posted an animation she will use in an upcoming workshop.

FAME GoAnimate by AuntyTech

If you know anything about social networks, you know that friends overlap. Kevin's post sent out ripples. Leigh's post sent out ripples. As the ripples reached others, their comments send out ripples to others. The interaction see on the page is just the visible learning ripples. The ripples that you don't see are reaching others and spreading the knowledge. We MUST provide this kind of learning for our students!

It's Saturday night. I can't help but wonder how far the ripples started by Kevin and Leigh will have traveled by Tuesday!