Web 2.0 in Southeast Texas (cont)

 57 203819473 0B408EddceI enjoyed a great day yesterday here in Southeast Texas. TCEA’s region five folks put on a fabulous conference. The biggest complaint that I heard was about the sessions that people couldn’t attended, the hard decisions they had to make in what presentations to see, and which ones to leave behind.

The keynote on the new shape of information seemed to be well received. At least most of the audience stayed awake. The blogging session that followed was overwhelmingly attended. I am getting the sense that an overflow of interest in blogging as a school/classroom endeavor is about to be reached. People have a sense of what blogging is, and, consequently, are realizing its value as a communication and literacy tool. However, barriers remain:

  • over filtered school networks
  • lack of time to retool lessons to integrate classroom blogging
  • media induced negative impressions about blogging in the public
  • impending legislation that threatens to ban social networks from the classroom
  • insufficient technical staff to support software installations and maintenance
  • the overwhelming burdens of standardized tests

There is much work to be done — much conversation to be had.

Today, I’ll facilitate day 2 of the Southeast Texas Web 2.0 summit. The participants will include teams of educators from area schools, including librarians, administrators, teachers, and technology specialists. I hope to include a podcasted discussion in one of my upcoming Connect Learning podcasts.

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Of Kayaks and Librarians

I’m in the middle of a conference and extended Web 2.0 summit in Southeast Texas. I was so tired after yesterday’s workshop that all I could do was veg out over a half dozen programs on the History Channel.

This morning, I would like to add one more comment about the value versus source argument. A few days ago I posted an article (Value Vs Source) where I talked about my experiences in industrial arts class, when I was a high school freshman. I described how, in building a kayak, I was taught to select my building materials and tools based on the task at hand, based on the goal of my work. Even though the source of the materials was essential to the success of the boat, my initial (not supreme) consideration was, will this help me build a good boat.

What I didn’t say in that article, but now believe to be a critical part of my position, is that if anyone wanted to ride in that kayak, I would need to be prepared to provide proof that the boat would not sink. I would need to be willing to get in the boat and paddle across the lake, to show evidence that the materials and workmanship were sufficient to accomplish the goal.

The same works for an information product. Even though the goal was the initial basis for selecting the information raw materials, the information artisan must be prepared to offer evidence that the product’s component parts are accurate, reliable, valid, and not detrimentally biased. This proof should be an integral part of the product.