Social Networks & Future Open PD

I’m very impressed with an article that Steve Hargadon (et. al) has recently written for School Library Journal (as well as a related article in eSchool News). It’s so refreshing to see educators promoting the use of Social Networks – for education’s sake. Says Steve:

While MySpace has given social networks somewhat of a bum rap among grown-ups, Classroom 2.0 is an example of how these groups can function as a virtual watering hole, a professional development tool, and a place where it’s not uncool to say you want to be someone’s friend.
Having participated heavily in several social networks for educators during the last six months, I’m absolutely amazed at (1) how much I’ve learned from participating in such networks (see my last post, for example) and (2) how much I depend on my network now that I’m hooked. An example of how much I'm hooked is clearly evident in our attempts to provide a globally attended professional development session.

Simply put, if it weren't for my TwitterSchool, EduBloggerWorld, and Classroom 2.0, our "global classroom" would be non-existent.

As of today, there have been roughly twenty-five teachers from all around the globe participate in our class. Needless to say, our class discussions have been very enlightening. In thinking aloud and in discussing the future with my co-teacher Robin Ellis, we've come up with a few ideas that we think would work well in future open professional developments sessions.
  • Next round (beginning in January), let's hold another 5-week class, one night a week.
  • Ideally, 5 sites would participate - each site takes a turn teaching and we rotate through the sites.
  • We all work together to build a unified curriculum for the class.
What are your thoughts? Is this something you (or your teachers) would like to participate in?

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