I wanted to draw your attention to a relatively new initiative from the Consortium for School Networking, Web 2.0 in Schools: Policy & Leadership. An advisory committee was formed last year in July, but it seems like most of the work they’ve done has been pretty recen. This report, for example, released in May 2009, talks about what the administrator’s role is in navigating the education opportunities of Web 2.0 tools with keeping students safe online.
Based on a survey of about 1,200 district administrators, the report found that nearly three-quarters thought that Web 2.0 tools—such as blogs, wikis, and social-networking Web sites—had a positive impact on students’ communication skills and quality of schoolwork. The survey also found that not all Web 2.0 tools are created equal in the eyes of a school district. A large majority—70 percent—ban social networking at school and 72 percent ban chat rooms, but most schools allow the use of wikis, polls and surveys, blogs, file-sharing, and games.
If this is a topic that interests you, I encourage you to poke around COSN’s Web site to see what else is there. And you also might want to check out this upcoming webinar, hosted by Progressive Business Publications, called “Facebook, YouTube & Student Free Speech: What Educators Need to Know,” on Thursday, August 13, 2009 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern. It’s led by John Borkowski, a lawyer who practices trial and appellate litigation, with an emphasis on education law issues. It costs $199.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.