Pencil, paper ... blog?Red Wing School Board
Tweets. Blogs. Wikis. Red Wing administrators say these words are part of a language behind the latest in technological instruction. They won't be displacing pencils and paper, but they will represent what Red Wing administrators are calling "Tech 2.0."
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Tweets. Blogs. Wikis.
Red Wing administrators say these words are part of a language behind the latest in technological instruction. They won't be displacing pencils and paper, but they will represent what Red Wing administrators are calling "Tech 2.0."
"It opens up a whole new world," said Kevin Johnson, the district's director of buildings and facilities. "It's coming. We have to face it."
But what is "it?"
Johnson said it means accessing blogs, wikis and social networks — all Web-based tools allowing students and teachers to exchange educational information from outside the classroom.
But teachers eager to harness the new technology for instructional purposes must wait on the School Board. At Monday's meeting, board members reviewed a permission slip parents would have to sign in order for students to participate in the online forums.
The form describes how students will need to be fluent in 21st Century skills.
"To help students develop these skills, blogs, wikis, social networks and other digital classroom tools may be integrated into classroom lessons by some teachers," a draft permission form states.
Supt. Stan Slessor likened some of the online educational possibilities to the pen pal experiences he had in elementary school.
"It's taking what I used to know long ago and taking it into the tech age," he said.
Board members appeared receptive but cautious of the proposal.
"We need to be very conscious of who has access to it," School Board Chairman Mitch Boldt said.
School Board member Stephen O'Keefe said recent media reports citing "dramatic consequences" of some online interaction between children and adults raises oversight concerns. A Minnesota man could be charged in a Canadian teen's death after he allegedly instructed her through online messages how to commit suicide.
"There will be abuses," Johnson conceded.
He and School Board members agreed the Web-based teaching tools would require intense monitoring.
School Board members asked Johnson to bring back more information on the proposal before they considered voting on the item.