Possible Roles for Web 2.0 Program Creators in Classroom 2.0?

Skip Zilla wrote to me wondering what would be a good way to encourage the creators/CEO's of Web 2.0 programs to participate in Classroom 2.0.

I think it could be really valuable to have their participation here, and think that Gina (the CEO of Ning) has set a good example already for their ability to participate and be helpful. I can see some really, REALLY good interaction with the program creators and discussions about features and use.

Do we need to set any parameters for their participation? My initial instinct is that we don't, and that the community will be self-policing if there is a sense that the network is being used in inappropriate ways for promoting a certain program. The community is going to react much more positively to a real contributor than a self-promoter. When Ning rolls out the group feature, it may allow even more opportunity for good dialog this way.

I've also wondered about maybe doing a screencast interview series focusing on the use of actual Web 2.0 tools in education. I think that makes a lot of sense.

What are other thoughts?

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I think this is a great idea.
For many tools, we are on the front-lines, using these applications (although, often in ways not imagined by the developers) and so a dialogue of some sort makes perfect sense to me. There is a line between promoting your product and trying to learn more about your user base, but I wouldn't know how to filter that out other than let the community work its magic (as you already suggest).

As a developer of a Web 2.0 tool for Education, I would love to participate in Classroom 2.0 discussions more often. I am curious to know how people are using our tool and others.

I also want to be careful to promote our tool in a way that is appropriate and respectful of this forum. I would welcome parameters to help me understand the expectations of this community. It would be nice to know before the community censors you what the 'fuzzy line' between promotion and sharing is... :)

I'm running the Open Source Pavilion at NECC this year for the third time, and we face a similar issue there with the role of commercial vendors. Typically, it works really well--we just tell commercial Open Source vendors that they are welcome to be there, but they are expected to pitch in and help everyone and be a fully contributing member of the community in talking about the value of Free and Open Source Software.

Now that we have this discussion open, I think we just move forward and figure it out as it goes, with the understanding that we may establish policies if they are needed... but until then, just pitch in and be as helpful as you can.
I'm not a developer... :) We just showcase the Free and Open Source applications that can be used by educators. See my wiki at www.k12opensource.com.
That's a great idea.
Great idea. It would be best to do this over the summer... more free time for teachers.
I like the idea of having some sort of parameters. Even if it is just a loose mission statement with 3 bullet points. Because you do want the idea of respecting the purpose of the Classroom 2.0 forum...
Very cool idea, to have a mission statement. Are you talking about one that forms parameters for a particular group or theme within Classroom 2.0 or for some larger area within Classroom 2.0?
As a CEO of a Web 2.0 company, I can say this. What we need is feedback from users. What we want to know is how we can make our product more effective for your use. We also would like to know how teachers are using these products. What cool new applications are you creating with the tools we make?

I would also be open to the idea of conducting user workshops. We can host a web/phone conference to showcase our technology.
It would be very valuable to have the creators/CEOs participate. I bet they'll want to. If I had painted an interactive, Harry Potter-type picture (the ones who wave to you and go about their lives while hanging on the wall) and then provided a playground for all the characters to be in motion, moving into a mysterious and compelling future, I'd want to jump into the picture myself.
How can we support you with this idea?



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