Dear YU 2.0 Community:
One of few negative side effects of the incredible privilege I have of spending time online with all of you on our CoP, is that I sometimes forget just how many educators there are out there who have not yet ‘connected.’ I look at YU 2.0, and I am truly inspired. At over 350 members (with over 25 new sign ups in the last month!), we are a real community. And with close to 500 total blog posts on the site, we are community that likes to share, which is wonderful. It is important for us to remember that while we are ‘here,’ talking, sharing, and stretching ourselves, there are still many others, the majority, who are ‘there.’
How can we continue to reach out beyond early adopters and technophiles? I think that EdTech integration specialists experience similar struggles with their faculty members. There are always going to be those teachers who embrace the tech tools being offered, and there are those who are less enthusiastic. I was told once by an EdTech leader that the key to working with reluctant faculty is to help them address a need that they have. Once they see that an issue that they are struggling with can be addressed successfully by a tech tool you are providing, they often change their attitude towards learning about technology integration in their classrooms. Similarly, I think we need to look at ourselves as ambassadors for educational technology, and strive to help our more reluctance faculty members see how EdTech can help fill a need that they might have. These interactions are unique because, unlike in our CoP, they are NOT happening online. They are happening in the teachers’ lounge, or in a faculty meeting. And imagine if you could get a group of educators from your school to join YU 2.0 together. Joining the site as a team creates an additional level of interaction and sharing, as you can, together in your real world environment, evaluate what works and tweak what needs improvement.
In the same vein, I ask you, the members of our community: what can we do to make the site an even better resource for you? Are you trying to implement a local ‘EdTech learning community’ in your school and you don’t know how to get started? Let us know! Are you interested in forming a specific subgroup on YU 2.0, either focused on a particular tool, or maybe even made up of members of your particular faculty? Let us know! What would you like to see in a webinar for members of our CoP? Your feedback is incredibly important. It can either be transmitted in a blog post, or even via email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Speaking of webinars, YUHSchinuch community, a fellow CoP, is hosting tonight (3/5/12) on the topic of “Project Based Learning in Judaic Studies: Lessons from the Classroom.” This session, hosted by Rabbi Dr. Aaron Ross, will build on his real world experience implementing project based learning, and it tied to EdTech as well, as many of the tools utilized in PBL are tech related. Join us! Click here for more info and to sign up.
Additionally, we at YU 2.0 have also tapped Rabbi Ross’ expertise for a webinar that we are hosting on Thursday, March 22, on the topic of “Using Google Apps in the Classroom.” This webinar will focus on utilizing Google’s suite of apps, especially Google Docs, for For more info and to sign up, click here.
On YU 2.0
On YU 2.0, a spirited discussion on the value of social media, specifically Twitter, continues in a post by Adam Acobas entitled “Twitter – Who Needs It?” Tina Chamek discussed some of the positive elements of social networks as well as difficulties using in the classroom in her recent blog post. Be sure to post your response on the blog!
Several posts about utilizing podcasts in the classroom were submitted this week, including ones by Daniel Loewenstein (“Podcasting v Teaching”), Yosef Sharbat (“Podcasts, for Students and Parents”), Ronnie Malavsky (“Blogging About Podcasting”), and Matthew Faigen (“P & Vodcasts”).
Be sure to check out these and all of the other blog posts, and send me your feedback and requests for how we can continue to help you! Let your voice be heard!