Wow, today I went to a website, Skittles, of all things. (www.Skittles.com)
Yes, the tasty rainbow candy that we all loved as kids. The ones that are the cause of all your children's dental visits.
Long story short, they did something totally disruptive. The got rid of their static, boring website and embraced the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube to harness "conversations" and allow the digital community to share and engage. Read more.
What a concept! Try it out for yourself, go visit Skittles.com and see how they seamlessly integrated various Web 2.0 resources.
So the question is, could a school ever embrace a school online presence in the form of community engagement. Allowing global communities to collaborate, share and learn through their school site. Probably not likely, at least not in the next generation.
How great would it be if students, teachers, parents and community members could all come together to collaborate, learn about their child's activities and projects, connect with students from across the globe, etc? Social networks like Facebook, Ning, WeAreTeachers exist today to allow for this capability. What if students could upload their projects into YouTube share their digital projects or post to their own blog spot and begin to have real conversations about their project or research? Again all doable. What if students could take their mobile phones and actually use them to capture quick text notes or pictures of things they learn, share them with their classmates and others via Flickr? And what if they could not only share in conversations with eachother, but with those around them and with like interests or teachers and students from other parts of the country via Twitter? They could use summarize or aggrogate all of the Twitter feeds about their school or projects with search.twitter.com. Post these and learn a great deal from their community.
I understand all of the issues around security and firewalls, and the possiblities of the scary stuff. It's everywhere, not just in our schools.
It could happen...