Anyone else out there done with Classroom 2.0? I am and I'm sad to say so. Other than twitter, it's been the most powerful network I've been a part of. There's a great number of people that I would have never met and connected with if it weren't for Classroom 2.0. EduBloggerCon wouldn't have happened for me without it. I'm not losing sleep over my decision, but I want to talk about the process of how I got out of the ning that introduced me to ning and shaped a lot of my thinking on how social networking can work with teachers and students.

A few months back I got into a bit of an argument about how twitter could be used in the classroom. It was at that point I decided to step out for a little while. There were, what seemed to me, several people who had joined Classroom 2.0 that have little or no desire to
  1. use technology in the classroom as a transformative tool
  2. put technology in the hands of students and most importantly
  3. change the structure of the traditional classroom
After my August hiatus I decided to drop back in, today, and based on the forum topics not much has changed.

classroom 2.0 forum 11/22/07

Twitter's still being discussed (in two separate discussions) but I think that more people are starting to get it (not that my points in argumentative forum discussion mentioned above were ever really about twitter). There's a conversation going on about classroom management (which is a problem, specifically, because of the structure of classroom 1.0,). Most disheartening, though, is that there is an ongoing discussion of actively excluding students from the network. The level of discourse going on about including (or not including) students in our conversations and grand schemes to change their classrooms from 1.0 to 2.0 pains me. If there are students who are willing to give their input, I can't imagine a more important, relevant, or crucial voice to listen to. Excluding students from the conversations about their future is the cornerstone of Classroom 1.0.

So, I'm stepping out again.

I want to be realistic here it's not as if my presence is going to be missed. There are a great number of people here far more insightful, educated, creative, and useful (not to mention having the ability to spell and having a basic command of grammar and syntax) than I am to this network. There are over 4,000 members, and growing. From what I know about networks that's a good thing.

Farewell, Classroom 2.0. Thanks for helping me grow and may you spark the same in a great many others.

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Hey Glenn, I'm one of the people involved in the original Twitter "discussion"---haven't bothered to get involved in the latest discussion regarding Twitter even though I haven't changed my mind in the last several months. I understand your frustration with some of the discussions going on, I get frustrated too--probably for different reasons than you. I'm sorry you're stepping out, rather than continuing your "fight". I retire in 18 months---you'll be a driving force in the years to come. You're the one who will make the transition to Web 2.0 and Beyond!! (sounds like a Star Trek episode)
Hi Glenn,

Although we seem to be looking for the same thing (educational reform_, you and I view what's going on currently from different viewpoints.

I see a network that taken as a whole is a fine example of a set of connected professionals who reflect upon practices together and share an immense amount of resources.

I see individuals setting off to create their own particular hybrids of techno and traditional educational environments, and sharing these hybrids with each other.

The educational change--the reform--IS happening, at varying paces with varying qualitative differences from the "sit and git" practices. People ARE using technology as a transformative tool, putting technology in the hands of the students, and working to change the structure of the traditional classroom. I see it happening. There are many good examples of all these here at CR2.0. Are you thinking it's not enough, it should occur faster, or people are trying hard enough?
Are you saying people don't "get it"--I think this may be the case--and for any affirmative answers to these questions, isn't the remedy more discussion, sharing, and showing?

Regarding this paragraph:
"Most disheartening, though, is that there is an ongoing discussion of actively excluding students from the network. The level of discourse going on about including (or not including) students in our conversations and grand schemes to change their classrooms from 1.0 to 2.0 pains me. If there are students who are willing to give their input, I can't imagine a more important, relevant, or crucial voice to listen to. Excluding students from the conversations about their future is the cornerstone of Classroom 1.0."

My reaction: you are off base on this one. The security question is something that has to be looked at carefully. You don't just willy-nilly unleash students into networks with all sorts of information bits attached to their identities. This may happen by accident now and then, but it has to be taken care of for obvious reasons of protection. If kids are taught to think through safety concerns (and, by the way, something about commericialism and ad-wariness), if they learn how to manage their online identities in a thoughtful way, that's a better starting point.

There's a consideration of age and maturity in the "kid participation" part of social networks. I'd like to point out that several times I've recruited highschoolers and college students to participate at CR2.0. I don't encourage my elementary students to join, simply because I'm worried about their clearly being visible to anyone on the internet. I think they should have some degree of maturity and awareness to participate in a public network.

But I do share this network with my students. My kids read many CR2.0 forums, and also have seen me post reactions to discussions here. I'll often solicit their views on discussions. I use my participation and sharing as modeling for them, as they participate in their own private ning--which has taken off like a rocket, I might add.

In your forum post I'm sensing that the disappointment you're feeling may have to do with whether or not people are willing to "hand over the reins" to the kids. Am I right? If so, I'd like to say that look more carefully and you'll see it happening in lots of places. A lot of us are cautious about safety, but not at all cautious about control. We're nurturing change, feeding it, letting it develop and grow wholly new educational entities.
I believe that students and teachers can and are on their way to collaborating. I recently launched a site called which is a learning community site for that very purpose. It has only been up a month but my traffic is steadily growing. The purpose of the site is content management and social networking with both groups! I would invite you to take a look and read the purpose post in the blog and watch the masterycast podcast on the podcast page. It explains where I am coming from and my work.

I understand your comment on the topics here but would say that I have received much support from users of this site; I contunue to dialogue with educators who support my site and the concept, and we are working on joint projects and discussion with students. I have received many comments from teachers and other education professionals reflecting an agreement with the premise that we must adjust to the world of the student. You will see that more in the future on my site as we are in the early stages;students will be there and part of the process of achieving mastery. I do believe we need to change, but I believe we are. I do see it here in this community. and as a result I am here to help facilitate the discussion. Like everything, it is going to take some time.

Keep in touch, and share the new communities you encounter! You can find me elsewhere-- twitter and facebook to name a few-- as masterymaze!

Good luck!

Sue Palmer aka The Maze
I read those discussions you mentioned. I can imagine why you are frustrated. When people don't see your point, especially when you own it so deeply, feelings of disbelief can turn into disappointment.

Please consider that disagreement, discourse and debate are the basis of critical thinking which our students desperately need MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. In the cold light of history, all decisions seem to have been made by consensus, but that is an illusion.

Let's consider this example. One of the most important issues in American History, the change from the Articles of Confederation to the federalized government under our current USA Constitution, during the late 1700's was a moment of change in our history directed by the disparate groups of Americans, the farming culture and the business culture. When writing the constitution of the USA, Madison, et al were not representing the common man. They were representing the interests of commerce. Even more alarmingly, no one was representing the common woman, child, indentured servants and slaves. As the result of dissension, the common men, colonial representatives in the state legislators, made the constitutional framers bend to their will.....somewhat. The colonies would not ratify the new constitution without attention to the "Rights of Man".... a Bill of Rights. We should be proud that they argued heatedly, in person and in print, to give us some rights, even if we don't know who they are.

I don't know who these early American citizens were, because history is always written by the victor. What I do know is this: these 'dissenters" helped us obtain a Bill of Rights and a method to add more rights. Sometimes the loser can mitigate or soften the effect of the victor. THAT IS WHY YOUR PARTICIPATION MATTERS.

I have felt as you do, yet I decided that I can be a stronger force for my viewpoint if I participate. You must decide for yourself what is best for you but I would hope you will think of the considerations that I have offered.

Everything we write is placed in the annals of internet....the search engines, providing an opportunity for you to rebutt the opinions of others with whom you disagree. While I would not suggest that you stay....if you don't want to stay. I would remind you that having a chair at the table is better than looking in the window like the little MatchGirl. At the table you have a direct voice...outside you have no direct voice.
In education there can and always will debate, reform, challenge and change. Each educator must take into consideration the needs of their students, parents and community. We also must be aware of something considerd "age of consent".The security issue brought forth dealth with with picture of young elementary children with posted first and last names as well as location information. One only has to review a Nightline show to realize that a balance must be struck between empowering students by using technology and protecting their identity in such an open forum.

I do have my elementary students taking part in collaboration on-line. Each has picked an on-line name, I have permission from their parents as they are minors, and I use a school email address when we have to register to use on-line tools. It is my belief that both issues of empowernent and security can be handled in a professional manner.

I am sorry some people feel frustrated. I guess I am at the point where I am still learning and willing to listen to all points of view, as mine as still a work in progress.
I have decided to see if he is correct. I don't think so, but we shall see. Anyone interested in collaborating? See my site. Thanks.
I've been thinking about how to reply to this post. First, I don't like that my forum post is up there right below this statement:

Several people who had joined Classroom 2.0 that have little or no desire to
1. use technology in the classroom as a transformative tool
2. put technology in the hands of students and most importantly
3. change the structure of the traditional classroom

I would certainly say that I have the desire to do all of those things. And lately I have been so excited about learning in Twitter, I thought Classroom 2.0 would be a good place to express my feelings. Since I joined almost a year ago, I have found this an amazing place to learn from others and share my ideas and frustrations. I am not always active here, but I when I am, I have gotten wonderful responses.

I have a great respect for this community.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, I was the one that irritated Glenn several months ago with my "gimme a break" response to the Twitter in the classroom discussion. I get frustrated with some of the discussions here for the exact opposite reason. I get frustrated that many of the discussions make it sound like technology is a pancea and will cure all our education ills. Time after time there are discussions about tools with no mention of content, product, student learning, student achievement. BUT I learn from each discussion and don't leave in a huff.

Here's a reality check for all of us---in my state 54% of the teachers are of retirement age (myself included). That means that most of the teachers in my state are late adopters or non adopters--we were brought up with record players, typewriters, transistor radios, and purple mimeograph machines. OK, so if that describes 54% of us that means that 46% will be our future teachers. Have they been taught how to integrate technology in the classroom at their universities? I see many young teachers that are non-adopters too. My point? Change does not happen over night, schools haven't changed that much in the last 50 years. This is a slow process, we need the Glenns of the world to keep trying, keep teaching, keep working and to keep irritating people like me. Classroom 2.0 needs teachers at all skill levels. Some say the US needs to hire between 1.7 and 2.7 million teachers in the next 2 years---we have 4000 here in Classroom 2.0, are the other 2 million tech savvy?
Classroom 2.0 is a single node of my online reading/learning, not my home base. It has been very valuable to me, as I have meandered here, and away again over the past few months. Some discussions have inspired me to participate and some I choose to ignore. I actually chose to ignore this one, but was pulled here by Liz Davis' Twitter link... (I've just started 'playing' with Twitter and am ignoring discussion threads on the topic until I give it a fair shake).
I have been struggling with combining your 3 points in my classroom, as I just blogged about moments ago. We all need starting places as Prensky suggests.
I think this is a great site for many to enter, explore, and/or expand their 2.0 experiences.
Sorry it doesn't work for you (right now) but in the end we all have to make choices about what is important to us.
I like the reference to "single node" that David puts forth -- and I agree.
I remember when I joined here, there were just a few hundred folks (just a few months ago) and now, wow, it is amazing, and I often suggest teachers interested in tech but with no starting point to come here and engage in conversation. The community has become a bit too large for me, too.
I am not quite as engaged as I once was, but my rss is always full of great conversations from Classroom 2.0 and it is heartening how many people have responded to this one post, don't you think?
We can agree on things, and disagree on others, but I think it is clear this is a caring community concerned with our students and learning and wondering where the path ahead is going to lead us.
Repost from my blog:

Has anyone ever been kidnapped by a stranger because someone saw their personal information online?

I'm not saying the Internet is always a safe place for kids. But sometimes it seems like we get really worked up over the wrong things. Recently there's been a brouhaha at Classroom2.0 because some new members appeared who are elementary school kids. Their pictures were posted along with their names and their school. Assuming the teacher who led them in this activity had parental permission (after all, some kids need to stay hidden because of custodial issues), what is the real danger here? Other than maybe taking their photos and then editing them inappropriately (which can be done with scanned yearbook photos or newspaper clippings as well), I don't understand the fuss.

It seems to me that online dangers mostly come from kids interacting with adults and then agreeing to meet them in person - not from random adults finding personal information about random children and then snatching them against their will. Am I wrong?

If the danger is from interaction rather than information, then we need to target our instruction to interaction. Honesty on the part of kids goes a long way, both honesty in not pretending to be older than they are when signing up for services and honesty with their parents about their online activities.

Sometimes people who are hawks about this kind of thing remind me of politicians who posture to be "tough on crime" - results and reality take a backseat to rhetoric.
If ANYTHING happens to a kiddo through internet connection it makes the headlines and all the news shows. Compared to the number of kids that are online bad things happen to a teeny number--reminds me of something I heard yesterday on the news. In 1990 there were 2200 murders in NYC, this year so far there and been 428 murders and only 35 were stranger murders. What people hear on the news affects their opinion about things--dangers in NYC, predators on the internet. One bad thing happening to a kid is one too many and parents and teachers are on alert.



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