Maybe I just don't understand.

At the heart of the Deuce (that would be Anything 2.0) is participation. Not lurking. Doing. We have (as of a few minutes ago) just under 180 members here. I think about eight of us have contributed anything here. Maybe it's ten. I didn't count -- and I didn't count the "Introduce Yourself Icebreaker Assignment." (Hi, nice to meet you. Now? What do you think?)

Ya, I know it was the weekend. But if you're too busy at work and have other priorities on the weekend then what and how are you planning on actually getting into anything involving the Deuce?

Maybe you did something over on the Stop Cyberbullying -- I'm not a member over there -- I haven't looked.

Maybe you're just here to get The Answer. The problem, of course, is that without your voices, we aren't going to come up with any. Personally, I'm of the mind that Classroom 2.0 will not be a room and it won't be in a school. It'll be a place we each establish for ourselves. I'm in my classroom (and my pajamas) as I write this.

How is that going to shake out for - say K-4 kids? Personally, I see a pretty big widening of the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Nobody seems to want to address that one either, except by adopting a kind of No Child Gets Ahead mentality in order to make sure that No Child's Left Behind. It's a good strategy for keeping everybody together, but a miserable approach to expanding knowledge.

So? You people out there! Not Steve. Not Sharon. Not Barbara or Tom. Somebody else. One of you who hasn't said anything yet. Somebody who's been here for a few days and done nothing but read.

Are you out there?

Are you listening?

Are you thinking?

Do you just not understand that lurking is not a viable strategy in the Deuce?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Beuller?

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Welcome! New communities take time to find their voice(s). I hope this one does.

I read blogs for over a year before I posted anything, but it does get easier. And then when someone actually responds - wow!

By the way, there are no "rules" and trying to establish an orthdoxy about something as new as blogging or social networking is just silly. So stick around and participate however you like, by reading, writing, or both. I won't use the "L" word ;-)
Oh, please stay! :)

The great majority of folks, in any arena, aren't "early adopters," and the whole idea of Classroom 2.0 is to introduce educators to some of these tools in a comfortable way. It shouldn't take 9 months of blogging to no audience to be drawn into this world. Hopefully, your brave 60 minutes will result in your being part of an engaging dialog that makes a difference to *you.*

It's easy to forget how daunting it can be to publicly express thoughts--even (especially?) for educators, who may feel that they are going to be "weighed, measured, and found wanting." But that's also a huge part of the excitement, when you can participate, when you feel a little more willing to open up, and then somebody responds, and you start talking about things that are important. And our kids/students are growing up in a world where many or most of them are now constantly engaged in public dialogs the likes of which *I* never knew growing up. We need help in understanding their world.

So, please stay. And bring others. There is truly something magical going on with the read/write web, and Classroom 2.0 is my effort of hope to provide a easy way to enter this new world for those who might not know how to otherwise. (I feel a surprising rush of passion talking about this. Thanks for reminding me of what really motivates me.)
Cary,

Your comments got me to thinking more about social networks. I've written about "not getting" this SN thing. But reading you ideas made me realize that what I do is entirely about social networks. I'm coming to suspect, however, that there are many kinds of networks, and that they are, in a sense, part of one network, tied together (attracted to each other) through the conductivity of conversations and the gravitational pull of logic.

Attention is one of those words that is talked about a lot in conversations about Web 2.0 -- the BIG deuce. In a sense it is a commodity. To get things done, we need other people, and to get them interested, we need their attention. One thing that's concerned me is that as we talk about limitless bandwidth, limitless channels on the TV, limitless this and that in the world of information, what is not limitless is attention. There are only so many people and so many hours in the day. And each of us are only willing to give up so much of our day's attention to others' ideas.

I think that the reason that I don't get things like Ning is that I started blogging in a time when there was an abundance of attention out there, looking for something to pay attention to, and they would latch on to almost anything. As more people started becoming interested in blogs, and there were only a handful of educator bloggers out there, they came to Will Richardson, Terry Freedman, David Jakes, and some even came to read my blog. It was like physics -- attention gathering around Will's voice built up mass, and the more mass gathering around a particular voice the greater the gravitational pull -- and the more attention that was attracted to it.

There isn't so much attention left, so newer bloggers have more difficulty attracting attention and building up mass. This may be where social networking services like Ning come to play. Within this Classroom 2.0 network, there can be a concentration of attention, such that what a newer blogger (participant/contributor in the conversational web) has to say can be heard and can spark conversation. The network builds up mass where it has become more difficult for individuals. Will doesn't need a Ning, because he is huge. He is a planet Jupiter. I have a goodly amount of mass, though I'm a mercury, or perhaps more appropriately, one of the moons of Saturn (I love that planet).

Yet Will, and Jakes, and Freedman are also a part of Ning, because their ideas can be latched to from Ning, and spread, and Will can aggregate the conversations that spring up here and talk about them.

So I suspect that Steve Hargadon got it all along. It is a place for beginners, but for reasons far more esoteric and potent than just having an easier tool. It's a place of more concentrated attention and more potency of ideas.

Or I could be entirely off my rocker!
Thanks to all of you for a thought-provoking exchange.

I have to agree with Chris in that I found some of the conversation somewhat insulting myself, insulting because it feels like there's an attempt to prescribe what type of setting is good for everyone, just because it isn't "suited" to some already networked power users. I would argue to the power users that all of us, new members or experienced writers, have something to offer in a conversation about education.

I completely agree and understand that the tools each of us use is a matter of taste, preference, and the time we have to spend on it, and understand that there may not be time daily for every power user to use a tool like this..

But I think there is also a danger in getting too insular and so "networked" that there isn't room for other voices or an openness to other tools.

Everyone was a fledgling once, in whatever field of endeavor they work in. We may all have different ways of supporting others' efforts to begin, but I think whatever route is used should be respected, whether it be a social network, or writing articles, or blogging, or whatever it is.

I do think Steve gets it--he created a space where educators interested in web 2.0 can talk. We have a variety of people interacting here. More will come as they find out about it. There's room for informal conversations, debates, chatter, personalization, and I like that.

I actually think one of the values of the space is this--I know many of us here have blogs or websites that are directly affiliated with our school and are mainly for our teachers. I can't spend time on that blog debating the esoterics of some finer web 2.0 point or trying to get help myself with how something works, because a)most of them aren't interested in the finer web 2.0 points yet and b) My role is to be showing them how tools work or sharing new ones. So to me, having a more enclosed and relaxed space where we can hash out issues, have those discussions, vent our frustrations more informally, ask for help--is very valuable.

I don't know that will always appeal to newbies. ( I'm not a newbie and it took me three minutes to figure out what "Deuce" was!) But I think that having a space like this is valuable. Sure I could start another blog that was more for those kinds of things and not mainly for my staff...but I'm not ready to do that yet, or not sure I want to. So, I find appeal here, and am interested in the new people I'm meeting also.
Great comments.

One thing I'm wondering is how easy it is for a beginner to track these forum discussions. Unless you are using an aggregator and grab the feed, you have to look into each one. I'd like a way in Ning to allow a user to see forum posts they haven't looked at yet.

This is *such* a valuable discussion--I am wondering how to highlight it.
I agree. (Besides which, if you are beginner, you may not know how to use an aggregator yet?--maybe a newcomer tips page would be helpful)

I do think a highlighting feature would be good. I am still tracking a lot of things more by accident than by design because there are so many areas.
You're never off your rocker. I think you have gotten a nuance of this that is really critical. Attention, or just being part of the conversation, is so critical. Cary's post reminded me of how hard it can be to just put down the first words... how exposed one feels when one starts to use these tools who didn't grow up with them. And then how EXCITING it is to get feedback.
Well, I just arrived and have spent some time going through the variuos posts. The one reason I came to try this out was I wanted to see what this might add to my experience in the web.20 world. First, I'd like to offer a replacement for "lurking". Call it blurking - gets rid of the negative connotation. Anyway, I've been at this for about 5 months and some of the people I recognize and some of them will be new colleagues to me. The way I see this is that the people here are all involved in education in some manner which puts us all in the same grouping. We can subdivide after that but essentially we are educators. My experience is that in any group there are those who will be active quite quickly, making conversation and discussing ideas. Others will wait to join the conversation later. As people enter the room, they will step into conversation and add a new dimension. My expectation is that people will drop in and out, adding to the different conersations as they gain experience or formulate their ideas into a post. Now, if you want immediate conversation, check out the educational blogs that are available on the net. There you will definitely engage people but be aware that the conversation I've seen is not confrontational in nature. It questions, comments, ,suggest but rarely berates and belittles others. I'm actually quite surprised that this has developed into a rather good discussion on the habits one needs when interacting within the web2.0 sphere. Now, as the blogs grow, I'm sure that someone will address the habits of effective bloggers and ways to grow your connections. I don't begrudge people for not commenting. Knowing that there is a readership that finds what I say to be worth reading spurs me on to write more. As I have done so, my own voice has grown and developed as I have become better able to address my ideas, thought, concerns, problems and fears within the confines of the written word.
I agree iwth many that offending people will not draw them out. You need to invite them to participate. Ask them about how they feel, what they see as being important, what are the big ideas with which they are struggling. Where do they see themselves going with the introduction of the new technologies and ideas. What would they like to see within a forum? What might they want to discuss that concerns their own teacher practice or philosophy? Whom do they have to support their attempts to use technology? What support would they like to see? How can those who are using the technology help? For those of us who are using the technology, how can we help one another? What software do you find works best for given situations? (I'm still looking for a reliable method to upload podcasts that doesn't require too many steps and is student friendly. ) How are people using things like MindMeister, bubbl.us, whiteboard and other online collaborating tools? Does anyone use an online desktop? What do you think of the idea? Do you think it might be worth examining?

Now, invite people to join the conversation. Tells us what you'd like to do or where'd you like to go. Man, I could almost hear my grade 11 social teacher yelling at us to participate already. Wow, thought I'd finished with those flashbacks :)
Two weeks ago nearly 200 people were here sitting on their hands and completely failing to respond in any significant way to the gentle proddings and invitations of our fearless leader.

Since I posted this challenge, the community has ignited. And I think if you look back through the timeline, you'll see that my edge has been taken way back. My challenge was met -- even exceeded.

We now have 340 members, a thriving discussion, and a lively community. Feel free to deride me, and despise my methods.

But they worked.

Welcome to Classroom 2.0.
I think sometimes people need a call to arms.
Or a nudge to take the first step.
Kevin
I joined today. I found this discussion by clicking on the top link of your forum. With the number of blogs out there, ending up at your forum posting was a random act of surfing. On the surface classroom2.0 looks something like facebook - there is a profile and a wall for comments and we can invite friends. However I'm not sure where and if there are discussions going on that would interest me without some time-consuming investigation. I know there's a listing of forums but there's no attempt, as far as I can tell, to categorize them in any way.

I am used to more structured forums with main topics and sub-topics eg. Visual Art>Digital Art or Wikis>Which one do you prefer? On Facebook (I joined so I could see what my students and my own kids are up to and ended up created a classroom Group on it) there are Groups for different topics of interest.

If there is some way to zero in on my interests, please let me know. Otherwise, how do I find the discussions that are relevant to my interests? Just the initial impressions of a new user.

By the way, I appreciate the people who added me as a friend as soon as I joined. I felt very welcome!
btw, if my memory seves me right, in FBDO, the teacher ever only talks to himself anyway. It wouldn't have mattered if anyone answered or not because the guy wasn't listening. He had all the answers and only asked the questions to make it look like he cared and was teaching when, in reality, he didn't and wasn't.

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