Thing 13: Attend a “21st Century” Conference

What a great idea! I love the ability to attend a conference from home.  I didn’t really know where to start, so I checked out several articles from the 2008 K12 Online Conference. Lorna Costantini and Matt Montagne put together a presentation titled Parental Engagement in the 21st Century-Leveraging web 2.0 tools to engage parents in non-traditional ways http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=340. This presentation gave me much “food for thought”. The light bulb has finally gone off in my head, and I understand what web 2.0 stands for. We are now living in a multimedia world. I do agree that parents and some teachers live in the 1.0 world while our students live in the 2.0 world. One point made was that parents should create a Facebook page and/or blog site, so that they can better see and participate in the world their student is living in. WOW! HOW TRUE! Many parents just place parental controls and then play traffic cop which is a negative approach. It might be a better positive approach if parents participate in the social networking along side their student. Parents modeling for students-what a great approach! After all some students are posting more writing on line than off line. Maybe that means I need to set up one also! Some teachers, like myself, did not grow up in a digital world, so our experiences are limited. We will need training and the time to explore web 2.0 tools. The idea is presented that teachers and schools should engage “parents as partners” by setting up a Ning site, so that parents have a place to communicate and participate. It is true that some parents do not have the time to come to the school during the day, but they would feel more connected and would have a place to offer suggestions if schools set up a portal for that. Schools could even set up classes for parents, so they could receive training in skills to use the web 2.0 tools. Great idea! I’ve come a long way in a few short weeks because I am now blogging, and learning lots about web 2.0 tools, so I can even see a Facebook page and Ning in my future. I just hope I can remember how to use all my new tools after this summer course is over!!

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