This is an opportunity to define the ideas (or "theses") that form the foundation of School 2.0. This is definitely a collaborative effort, and we want you to add to the idea list. Please add new ideas to the bottom of the list. Direct quotes should be attributed. If you need help using a wiki (or are unfamiliar with the Wikispaces conventions), please click here. If you are very interested in this dialog, you should consider subscribing to this page or to the whole wiki, which you can do from the "notify me" tab above. (Email notification is more efficient as it is easier to see changes in that format.)

You can either add to the general "manifesto," or append other organized material. Each idea can link to a page that gives whatever information you have on the history of the idea, those who may have coined memorable phrases that express the idea, and links to blogs, sites, podcasts, or articles that expand on the idea. The form or format of this discussion will be important, and we expect it will change and improve--please give your thoughts in the discussion tab.

School 2.0 Manifesto


Apprenticeship

Change

  • It’s [change] not a neat, clean process - it’s more akin to chaos theory. In fact, those who are exceptionally bonded to their current methods and pedagogies need to take heed … it’s all about getting muddy and working your way through the muck … that’s where you’ll find the hidden jewels. Cheri Toledo
  • It was not so very long ago that people thought that semiconductors were part-time orchestra leaders and microchips were very small snack foods. Geraldine Ferraro
  • Man's chief moral deficiency appears to be not his indiscretions but his reticence. Hannah Arendt
  • Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade. Constance Baker Motley (First Black Woman in the U.S. to become a Federal Judge)
  • If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow. -John Dewey
  • The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next. Ursula K. LeGuin
  • The audience has changed.
  • The fear of what might go wrong can't stop us from doing what is right.
  • The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet -William Gibson
  • What we want to teach we must become.
  • The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. -Stephen Covey
  • Email is for old people.
  • Develop the edge, let the edge transform the core. -John Seely Brown
  • Systems that demand energy, time, and commitment are not necessarily effective, even though they may have the appearance of efficiency. Such systems gain a life of their own, and are extremely hard to change.
  • Teachers should never want to teach the same things the same way twice.
  • Innovation in education is at the edges, not at the core. The core is vested entirely in the status quo. Innovation in education is more likely to come from students and parents than from education “experts.” - from John Seely Brown and John Hagel
  • Traditional top-down hierarchical, tightly integrated approaches to “managing” education force educational institutions to look inward at their “echo chamber” cores. Real reform and progress is achieved by moving toward the edge, where new knowledge is being created.
  • The 20th century industrial economy was all about interest rates and physical capital. The 21st century is all about innovation rates and knowledge capital. (See Hagel and Brown) This is as true in education as it is in the rest of society. - Steve Wilmarth
  • Boundaries of time and place have eroded in all aspects of 21st century life, except in formal education. This cannot hold for long. - Steve Wilmarth
  • No education enterprise wields enough power to impose standardized knowledge or activities on the global population. - Steve Wilmarth
  • New knowledge not under-pinned by democratic, ethical principles is dangerous to the individual and society at large. Current educational policies and practices focus on knowledge and largely ignore the tenets of democracy and ethical behavior. - Steve Wilmarth
  • Think outside the box - just be sure you know where the box is, and what's inside it. Roger Distill

Choice

  • I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it's only a choice of attitude. Judith M. Knowlton
  • You can't learn how to choose the right thing if you don't have a choice -Bill Fitzgerald

Collaboration

  • If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it. Margaret Fuller
  • "If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse gift will find a fitting place." Margaret Mead
  • Collaborative work inside the classroom is no longer enough. Cooperating with others outside the classroom, community, and culture can teach relevant and powerful negotiation and team-building skills. -from Will Richardson
  • Teachers should never participate in anything in their classrooms, departments, or districts that can’t or won’t be shared with others to be improved upon. - Ben Wilkoff
  • Wherever two people have a conversation, learning occurs. A conversation involving three people creates a learning web. Learning webs are self-organizing, complex, and organic. Learning webs are subject to the laws governing all networks. - Steve Wilmarth
  • Why do we learn collaboratively, but test and assess in isolation? - Steve Wilmarth

Community

  • Schools are part of a community
  • Formal schooling is just one part of a students learning, and is incomplete without the other two pillars of family and community.
  • Real change cannot happen just by rethinking what happens inside the school walls. Education is now a community undertaking on many different levels. -from Will Richardson
  • Learning does not take place in a single language or culture. No one should be expected to surrender his or her natural language or cultural identity in order to be educated. Natural language and native culture discrimination has no place in education. - Steve Wilmarth

Conversations

  • Education in the 21st century is entirely about conversations. --David Warlick
  • Cultures arise, live, and die based on the art of storytelling. A sustainable culture can tell its story effectively. - Steve Wilmarth

Economics

  • 20th century education has become a means to produce malleable workers and willing consumers in an industrial economy. All other more noble purposes have been subsumed by the system. - Steve Wilmarth
  • The 20th century industrial economy is not sustainable. Neither is the 20th century model of education. The sooner we acknowledge this, the more likely constructive reforms will take place. - Steve Wilmarth
  • Education is not a business – public or private. It cannot be owned or sold in the market of ideas. - Steve Wilmarth
  • Teaching is a calling. It is not a job. - Steve Wilmarth
  • Students and parents hold ultimate power. What if they opened school and no one showed up? - Steve Wilmarth
  • The only value proposition that works in education is “what’s in the student’s best interest?” - Steve Wilmarth
  • There are cheaper, healthier ways to “warehouse” students during the day. - Steve Wilmarth
  • "Free market" property rights are at odds with new knowledge access and creation. Just witness who complained it was "unfair" when the City of Philadelphia wanted to offer free wireless broadband to all its neighborhoods - Verizon. Witness the reaction of common carriers when consumers of content become producers of content - kill "net neutrality." Witness the anti-competitiveness nature of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). - Steve Wilmarth
  • Education leads to abundance, not scarcity. Artificial constraints that make learning resources scarce must be torn away or abandoned. - Steve Wilmarth
  • 20th century models of education do not scale well. This explains why proven, innovative programs are the exception, rather than the rule, and why proven, innovative programs are not universally adopted. - Steve Wilmarth
  • At all levels, the funding mechanisms for the current system of education are broken. - Steve Wilmarth
  • Government deficits are misunderstood and mis-characterized. We are not sufficiently "investing" to address deficits in education or technology – the two areas that will stimulate high productivity and high wages in a knowledge economy. We’re wasting public resources on the priorities of an industrialized society that are no longer relevant or sustainable. - Steve Wilmarth

Engagement

  • Lack of engagement masquerades as lack of discipline.
  • Teachers should never give an assignment that they wouldn’t be willing to do themselves.
  • Teachers should always know the answer for the question “Why is this important?”
  • Authentic relationships start the education process. - Steve Wilmarth
  • There are always smarter, wiser people outside the classroom than inside it. Closed classrooms and isolated learning are a danger to the productive capacity of society. - Steve Wilmarth

Individualization

  • Age is a bad gauge of educational expectations

Inquiry

  • Teachers should never think for their students.
  • Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. Marie Curie
  • Teachers should promote the complex and sometimes ambiguous nature of problem solving and real world application by bringing it into the classroom and showing students how complexity isn’t a vice, but a virtue. - Ben Wilkoff

Leadership

  • Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathies with despised ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences. Susan B. Anthony
  • When it comes to getting things done, we need fewer architects and more bricklayers. Colleen C. Barrett
  • 21st century education leaders need to develop deep understandings of what motivates learners. Leaders need to become adept at getting to the heart of what’s in the best interest of the individual learner, not the institution. Leaders need to be skilled at creating authentic relationships with students, parents, and communities. - Steve Wilmarth
  • The rationale for the educational enterprise must be re-examined. Educational enterprises can thrive in one of three ways: (a) by accelerating capability-building within learning communities; (b) by orchestrating and aggregating learning resources across multiple process networks for greater, easier access by learning communities; and (c) by mastering approaches to individual talent development to foster a virtuous cycle of lifelong learning. - Steve Wilmarth
  • Education leaders must set the foundations for life-long learning, knowledge creation, and self-actualization. - Steve Wilmarth

Learning

  • We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn. Mary Catherine Bateson
  • The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. Gloria Steinem
  • We must move from education to learning
  • Learning doesn't take place during set hours.
  • You don't teach a disposition, you enable it to be formed. -John Seely Brown
  • Learning to be in instead of learning about. -John Seely Brown
  • Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges. Joyce A. Myers
  • Becoming "self-learners."
  • Student no longer necessarily need to learn the same content, but they need to learn is how to self-direct their own learning. -from Will Richardson
  • Learning is not an event. In this day and age, it is a continual process. -from Will Richardson
  • Learning is social, ethical, natural, ecological, messy, compassionate, shared, open, visual, verbal, kinesthetic, and performing. Learning is not “bricks and mortar,” GPA’s, test scores, classroom management, contrived standards, nor isolated disciplines. - Steve Wilmarth
  • "Push” policies of education are top-down approaches toward dictating learning activities. This assumes that “consumption” can be anticipated precisely. Push programs of education attempt to organize activities into neat, manageable modules we call “semesters,” “daily calendars,” “lesson plans,” “curriculum maps,” “standardized tests,” and “course sequences.” "Pull” policies of education are democratic and ethical. They operate on the assumption that learning is self-determined, self-interested, and self-actuated. In a "pull" system, consumption is neither managed nor anticipated. The learner takes the most direct path to needed knowledge, at a time optimized for advanced learning. - Steve Wilmarth
  • 20th century education models operate on a standard meta-design pattern leading to distinctly linear process steps: Design > Deploy > Execute > Monitor > Assess > Refine. 21st century education models operate across overlapping, blurred boundaries leading to complex self-organizing patterns that can be describes as finding > connecting > innovating (remixing) > reflecting. - Steve Wilmarth
  • 21st century education has a distinct infrastructure that can establish connections (communications & logistics networks, service grids), make existing resources available (technology enablers, social networks), and create new resources (aggregation networks, process networks, networks of creation). - Steve Wilmarth

Mentoring

  • The guide on the side has will replace the sage on the stage.
  • With knowledge growing exponentially, and students often coming to school with more technical skills than teachers, the teacher must become a "tour guide."
  • Teachers are no longer the sole content experts in the classroom, because we can now connect our kids to people who know far more than we do about the material we’re teaching. -from Will Richardson
  • Everyone, including and especially the student, is now a teacher.

Open Source

  • The combination of openness and collaboration, in software, sytems, or philosophy--the combination of being able to learn from seeing the "code" and then by helping to build the next iteration.
  • The “open source” model is the future of education – apprenticeship, learning-by-doing, participatory “guilds” – all are inherent in the open source model and all are core, sustaining precepts for a new educational model.
  • 21st century models of education allow participants to more effectively mobilize diverse and distributed resources from a broad range of providers, similar to the open source software model. - Steve Wilmarth

Openness

  • A glass house is a very comfortable place to live. -Bill Fitzgerald
  • Transparency improves everything.
  • When we are "generative" we teach both the method and the result
  • Students need to see and understand how we ourselves learn. -from Will Richardson

Participation

  • There is no black box to guarantee success.
  • You can't systematize engagement.
  • The questions are more important than the answers, and the best questions lead to conversations.
  • You can regulate the worst of abuses out of a system, but you can never regulate goodness or excellence because goodness and excellence come from the hearts and minds of the people within the system. - Tom Sobol
  • Community building and service is a far more valuable education than rote memorizatioMary Kay Ashing.” - Steve Wilmarth

Passion

  • Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't knw that so it goes on flying anyway. Mary Kay Ash
  • True educational environments are created from passionate personal and cultural commitments to the value of learning, and they can and will take different forms.

Pedagogy

  • Pedagogy, not efficiency, must be the primary driver of education
  • Action without pedagogy is just moving chairs around a table.
    • This was from Chris Lehmann at a dinner in Philadelphia. Seems that this hearkens to the idea of "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic." - SteveHargadon external image SteveHargadon-sm.jpg
  • We start with the assumption that learning is a process, not an event. Learning intention drives learning approach, rather than learning approach drives learning outcomes. - Steve Wilmarth

Presentation

Reflection

  • It is more natural for children and parents to learn together in caring communities than for children to be placed in a system organized, operated, and planned by anonymous, faceless forces. - Steve Wilmarth
  • There are no educational institutions, enterprises, or planners worthy of preserving – only communities, guilds, and authentic leaders worthy of building. - Steve Wilmarth
  • Anyone not part of the educational solution is part of the problem. The earth will not wait for an eternity. God is watching. - Steve Wilmarth
  • I agree that we should be transparent, but is the world really a flat one-dimension? I think not. It is more 4-d than it has ever been, with all 4 dimensions hitting us from all sides simultaneously. We must be able to organize this plethora of information efficiently or be overwhelmed by it. We are not dealing with a flat world here, we are closer than ever before, but the wrinkles in time and space are not being ironed out. They are, rather, scrunching up as the fault lines of the digital information technology erupts exponentially across our radars…can you handle it? Lisa Durff


Research

Rights

  • Educational values and sustains life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Education is grounded in the fundamental democratic principle that all people are created equal. - Steve Wilmarth
  • Education is a natural, universal human right. No group, organization, or government, has the right or the power to infringe on an individual’s education. - Steve Wilmarth
  • 21st century education must help accelerate the shift from exploited consumers to networked creators. - Steve Wilmarth

Rigor

Technololgy

  • It's not about the technology, it's about the pedagogy. -Chris Lehmann
  • It's not about technology, it's about a new and vibrant information landscape that reshapes teaching and learning. -David Warlick
    • Hmmm... how can we take all these "It's about..." statements and create one meaningful hybrid -- It's about the intersection of pedagogy, information and technology..."
  • Technology should be like oxygen--ubiquitous, transparent, and necessary. -Chris Lehmann
  • Technology decisions made independent of teacher input lead to wasted resources.
  • Technology without training indicates a lack of pedagogy.
  • We must "unlearn" our fear of putting ourselves and our students “out there” for we’ve proven we can do it in safe, relevant and effective ways. -from Will Richardson
  • We cannot teach our students to be literate in this world by continually blocking and filtering access to the sites and experiences they need our help to navigate. -from Will Richardson
  • Access is a basic civil right of all learners. It is the 21st century equivalent of the right that all citizens should have had to sit at the Woolworth luncheon counter in Greensboro, NC in the middle of the 20th century. - Steve Wilmarth

Wisdom

  • The most important thing we can teach is wisdom, not knowledge.
  • We believe that increased complexity of knowledge equals increased decentralization across all social and learning ecologies. - Steve Wilmarth
  • The accelerated pace of knowledge creation directly corresponds to a decrease in the linearity of applied wisdom. An increase in the pace of complexity in knowledge directly corresponds to an increase in ambiguity as a benefit. An increase in ambiguity directly corresponds to greater diversity in knowledge creation. An increase in diversity directly corresponds to a need for openness of knowledge. An increase in openness directly corresponds to innovation, transformation, and democratization. - Steve Wilmarth

Christian Long's Manifesto

The next 10 ideas come from Christian Long (see http://thinklab.typepad.com/think_lab/2007/01/the_future_of_l.html). The expanded ideas from Christian are already input in the linked pages.



Christopher D. Sessums' Manifesto

These next ideas come from Christopher D. Sessums and can be found here as well.

  • Learning is a social activity. It is built upon conversations.
  • Schools are people.
  • Every child can learn and grow socially, cognitively, and spiritually.
  • Teaching and learning should be a transparent process.
  • The Internet is people. Educational technology is about people.
  • People have opinions and perspectives; this is how we distinguish each other.
  • The Internet is enabling conversations around the globe.
  • Social software enables a new type of teaching and learning that subverts conventional forms of teaching and learning.
  • When learners have questions, shouldn’t they be allowed to ask for help from each other?
  • People have the power to educate themselves.
  • People can gather more information more quickly then they could before the Internet existed.
  • The Internet is about emergence.
  • The Internet permits new forms of knowledge management.
  • The Internet encourages multiple forms of participation.
  • Internet security is more about stemming conversations rather than encouraging them.
  • When rules of usage are top-down and policy driven they disenfranchise users. Rules that regulate usage should be decided by users themselves who then self-manage their activity.
  • The need for control is inevitable, however it must include checks and balances that support all stakeholders.
  • Communities of practice can support students and teachers personally and professionally.
  • School is a metaphysical construct. It provides a means for people to interact.
  • Schools can change lives of individuals for better or worse.
  • Students and teachers are knowledge creators. They are more than mere passive receivers of knowledge and information.
  • Schools have turned into bureaucratic hegemonies. Policies drive curriculum, not authentic learning.
  • As such, schools are in crisis. They no longer serve learners.
  • Learning is a political activity. Learning involves social relationships that relate directly and indirectly with issues of authority and power.
  • Learning that involves building on social capital is powerful. Learning that taps into the opportunities afforded by social networking technologies will be smarter.
  • Learners can communicate with each other directly across the globe. Time, space, and distance thus take on a new meaning.
  • Schools must share the concerns of their community.
  • A school must belong to their community.
  • Schools (administrators, teachers, staff) need to be more involved with the people they hope to create relationships with.
  • Learning is about examination of our selves, our individual and collective thoughts, our values, our societies, and the roles assumed by each.
  • To succeed, schools need to examine the conditions within the communities in which they operate and address the needs of that community directly with active participation from community members.
  • No Child Left Behind is not a position. It is a bombastic, under funded mandate cast in a pejorative rhetoric.
  • Many schools operate out of fear of their constituencies and stakeholders. Many schools are afraid what the public would say if they knew what was going on inside.
  • Changing schools requires experimentation, trying things differently.
  • Schools need to be picky in terms of who is allowed to manage the infrastructure and who is responsible for working with students.
  • Schools must openly examine their assumptions and hidden curriculums and communicate their findings their stakeholders.
  • When schools cannot examine and share their goals and assumptions openly with community members, they will die.
  • School policies can be poisonous and generate distrust if they are not negotiated with stakeholders.
  • Emergence happens. Schools need to let it happen.
  • Stakeholders (parents, teachers, students, administrators, community members, local businesses) want to be involved in planning and curricular decisions.
  • Jargon kills conversations.
  • Standardized tests should be diagnostic tools, not school grades.
  • High stakes tests should never be tied to teacher or school evaluations or merit pay.
  • If schools are broken and broke, who designed it?
  • Who needs school?
  • The prosumer has power. If schools fail to recognize this, then learners will go elsewhere.
  • Schools can be a part of something special. They can promote social justice, confront issues of poverty and disenfranchisement, and set the stage for a brighter future.

As I said in the comments at http://elgg.net/csessums/weblog/150678.html but just made it big more elegant.
  • How can we as educators teach young people to respect each other and not to discriminate against each other? When schools still insist in classifying staff we should not be teachers, support staff, non-teaching staff or office staff. Instead we are all “staff” as we all have part to play in teaching young people.

John Pederson's Cluetrain Manifesto Mashup

From John Pederson's Cluetrain Manifesto Mashup:
1. Learning is conversation.
2. Learning consists of human beings, not demographic sectors.
3. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.
4. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.
5. In both internetworked learning and among intranetworked students, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.
6. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.
7. As a result, parents and students are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked learning changes people fundamentally.
8. People in networked learning have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another and the Internet than from textbooks and worksheets.
9. There are no secrets. The networked learners know more than schools do about their own learning. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.
10. Schools do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To their intended online audiences, schools sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman.
11. In just a few more years, the current homogenized “voice” of education—the sound of mission statements and brochures—will seem as contrived and artificial as the language of the 18th century French court.
12. Already, schools that speak in the language of the pitch, the dog-and-pony show, are no longer speaking to anyone.
13. Schools that assume the online learning medium is the same as television are kidding themselves.
14. Schools that don’t realize their learning is now networked person-to-person, getting smarter as a result and deeply joined in conversation are missing their best opportunity.
15. Schools can now communicate with their learners, parents, and students directly. If they blow it, it could be their last chance.
16. Schools need to realize their students and parents are often laughing. At them.
17. Schools attempting to “position” themselves need to take a position. Optimally, it should relate to something their parents and students actually care about.
18. Schools need to come down from their Ivory Towers and talk to the people with whom they hope to create relationships.
19. By speaking in language that is distant, uninviting, arrogant, they build walls to keep learning at bay.
20. Most “school improvement” programs are based on the fear that parents & students might see what’s really going on inside the school.
21. Smart learners will find schools who speak their own language.
22. To speak with a human voice, schools must share the concerns of their communities.
23. But first, they must belong to a community.
24. Human communities are based on discourse—on human speech about human concerns.
25. The community of discourse is the learning.
26. Schools that do not belong to a community of discourse will die.
27. As with networked learning, people are also talking to each other directly inside the school—and not just about rules and regulations, boardroom directives, bottom lines.
28. Such conversations are taking place today on school intranets. But only when the conditions are right.
29. Schools typically install intranets top-down to distribute HR policies and other district information that workers are doing their best to ignore.
30. Intranets naturally tend to route around boredom. The best are built bottom-up by engaged individuals cooperating to construct something far more valuable: an intranetworked educational conversation.
31. A healthy intranet organizes teachers in many meanings of the word. Its effect is more radical than the agenda of any union.
32. While this scares district witless, they also depend heavily on open intranets to generate and share critical knowledge. They need to resist the urge to “improve” or control these networked conversations.
33. When school intranets are not constrained by fear and legalistic rules, the type of conversation they encourage sounds remarkably like the conversation of learning.
34. Org charts worked in an older economy where plans could be fully understood from atop steep management pyramids and detailed work orders could be handed down from on high.
35. Today, the org chart is hyperlinked, not hierarchical. Respect for hands-on knowledge wins over respect for abstract authority.
36. Command-and-control management styles both derive from and reinforce bureaucracy, power tripping and an overall culture of paranoia.
37. Paranoia kills conversation. That’s its point. But lack of open conversation kills schools.
38. There are three conversations going on. One inside the school. One among the parents. One among the students.
39. In most cases, neither conversation is going very well. Almost invariably, the cause of failure can be traced to obsolete notions of command and control.
40. As policy, these notions are poisonous. As tools, they are broken. Command and control are met with hostility by intranetworked knowledge workers (teachers, parents, students) and generate distrust in internetworked learning.
41. These three conversations want to talk to each other. They are speaking the same language. They recognize each other’s voices.
42. Smart schools will get out of the way and help the inevitable to happen sooner.
43. However subliminally at the moment, millions of people now online perceive schools as little more than quaint legal fictions that are actively preventing these conversations from intersecting.
44. This is suicidal. Parents and students want to talk to schools.
45. Sadly, the part of the school a networked parent wants to talk to is usually hidden behind a smokescreen of hucksterism, of language that rings false—and often is.
46. Parents do not want to talk to flacks and hucksters. They want to participate in the conversations going on behind the educational firewall.
47. We want access to your school information, to your plans and strategies, your best thinking, your genuine knowledge. We will not settle for the 4-color brochure, for web sites chock-a-block with eye candy but lacking any substance.
48. We’re also the people who make your schools go. We want to talk to you directly in our own voices, not in platitudes written into a script.
49. As learners, as parents, both of us are sick to death of getting our information by remote control. Why do we need faceless annual reports and PTA groups to introduce us to each other?
50. As learners, as parents, we wonder why you’re not listening. You seem to be speaking a different language.
51. The inflated self-important jargon you sling around—in the press, at your meetings—what’s that got to do with us?
52. Maybe you’re impressing yourselves. You’re not impressing us.
53. If you don’t impress us, you are going to take a bath. Don’t you understand this? If you did, you wouldn’t let yourself talk that way.
54. Your tired notions of “parents aren’t involved” make our eyes glaze over. We don’t recognize ourselves in your projections—perhaps because we know we’re already elsewhere.
55. We like this new education system much better. In fact, we are creating it.
56. You’re invited, but it’s our world. Take your shoes off at the door. If you want to barter with us, get down off that camel!
57. We are immune to advertising. Just forget it.
58. If you want us to talk to you, tell us something. Make it something interesting for a change.
59. We’ve got some ideas for you too: some new tools we need, some better service. Stuff we’d be willing to pay for. Got a minute?
60. You’re too busy “doing business” to answer our email? Oh gosh, sorry, gee, we’ll come back later. Maybe.
61. You want us to pay? We want you to pay attention.
62. We want you to drop your trip, come out of your neurotic self-involvement, join the party.
63. We’d like it if you got what’s going on here. That’d be real nice. But it would be a big mistake to think we’re holding our breath.
64. We have better things to do than worry about whether you’ll change in time to get our business. Education is only a part of our lives. It seems to be all of yours. Think about it: who needs whom?
65. We have real power and we know it. If you don’t quite see the light, some other outfit will come along that’s more attentive, more interesting, more fun to play with.
66. Our allegiance is to ourselves—our friends, our new allies and acquaintances, even our sparring partners. Schools that have no part in this world, also have no future.
67. To traditional schools, networked conversations may appear confused, may sound confusing. But we are organizing faster than they are. We have better tools, more new ideas, no rules to slow us down.
68. We are waking up and linking to each other. We are watching. But we are not waiting.


Ben Wilkoff's Teacher 2.0 Manifesto

These ideas are taken from a Discourse about Discourse post.

Impassioned secondary teacher wanted to create high-level small-class learning environment in a diverse school dedicated to reflective pedagogy, thoughtful technology integration, and teacher leadership.
General Job Responsibilities for all teachers at our school:
  • Collaborate with team, department, and greater teaching community via both synchronous (essential question directed in-person discussion, Google Documents-style collaborative lesson planning, real-time chatting) and asynchronous methods (wikis, non-mass e-mails, Personal Learning Network reading and linking).
  • Maintain a reflective teaching blog, podcast, and/or wiki which is focused upon finding solutions for classroom problems, creating more student engagement or acheivement as shown through authentic assessements and teacher anecdotal evidence rather than state-wide assessement scores, or generating new ways to connect to students, teachers, or other members of the education community.
  • Read and interact with a Personal Learning Network made up of a few administratively selected educators and a vast majority of personally selected teachers, authors, and students who challenge you to become a better teacher.
  • Create your own professional development objectives for the year based upon your passions and your readership of your PLN. The majority of the professional development time throughout the year will be based upon your own objectives.
  • Create curriculum that can be shared, edited, and reproduced through creative commons licenses.
  • Use non-graded e-portfolios as the exclusive means of assessment and personal student reflection.
Specific Job Responsibilities for the English Language Arts position:
  • Create and maintain a digital authentic writing community, in which students are responsible for reflecting upon their own work, linking and commenting on others’ work, and understanding and controlling the direction of their own writing progress/process.
  • Conduct project-based learning that asks students to address real-life issues through authentic writing and media creation.
  • Use inquiry-based lessons to teach the conceps of textual analysis, considering all types of text (visual, auditory, and performance.)
  • Model the creation of touchstone-texts and resources that produce well-balanced viewpoints of our world, and help students to do the same.
  • Ensure that each student can question the validity of statements made in writing or in speech by verifying sources constantly.
  • Cultivate each student’s unique writer’s voice so that the intentions of their writing meet the impressions of the reader. This process must include constant feedback, grammatical and conventions mini-lessons, and constant question asking as to the purpose of the choices that the student author has made.
  • Conduct in-depth digital and conventional discussions on the nature of read and writing, user-selected texts, and thematic issues related to other curriculum.
  • Model higher-level thinking skills in writing and verbal remarks to the class and expect the same high-level thinking from students.



From WiZiQ's White Paper

Historical Precedence: Transition from classroom teaching to online teaching
Before the onset of the virtual classroom concept, the paradigm was of a teacher-centered approach. The teachers and students used to meet in a physical classroom at an appropriate time. The role of the teacher was that of an instructor or aptly an ‘information distributor’. The learners too did not have much choice to express or access the vast resources, and also not much collaboration could ever be the part of their learning trends.
The education was not accessible to the students living in rural areas or at a distance from their educational centers. The scope of education was limited for the reason if the course or subject was not available at universities or centers; and if students were unwilling to relocate they did not have any other option but to leave it.
Progressing with the technologies, education too witnessed a major restructuring. These transformations involved a change in the values and practices. From the ‘teacher centered’ classroom teaching the emphasis is now more on the learner. The onset of online learning made education available anywhere, anytime transgressing the barriers of time and place. The concept was welcomed because of the student-centered, collaborative approach; access to distance learning courses online, and flexibility to manage the conflicts stemming out of the academic, personal and professional commitments.
Virtual Classroom - a new wave in the world of education
The word ‘virtual’ in virtual classroom can be understood as ‘being actively connected to a network or computer system, usually being able to interactively exchange data, commands and information’ (University of Rhode Island, 2005, p.1). Now, adding the concept of classroom to this definition, would characterize virtual classroom as ‘the learning environment where the teacher and learner exchange knowledge live by connecting to an internet connection instead traveling to a physical classroom’

An example of such an education is the ‘University of Kansas Medical Center that uses Virtual Classroom to offer many of its courses, supplemental material for the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Continuing Education.

Every year more and more universities and colleges add up to the number that are offering web-based classes for their courses and degrees.
It is hard to conceive of a college or university remaining competitive in today’s marketplace without reaching beyond its physical boundaries.

What makes a Virtual Classroom?
The key characteristics of a virtual classroom are invariably the same as for a physical classroom. Primarily it includes the means to exchange communication and knowledge. Whiteboard in virtual classroom works parallel to blackboard; drawing and writing tools replace chalk; audio, video conferencing and chat for the live interaction. Besides, the virtual classroom has an advantage of being technologically advanced with a robust element of content sharing. The content and whiteboard sharing capabilities can be employed for notes exchange, online exams, or grading assignments.
How Virtual Classroom adds to the student’s learning?
In an online environment, learner pursues learning in an individualized and self-paced way. He can instantly ask for queries, doubts and feedback without any hesitation which might not be the case in the physical classroom. It’s more of a self-directed learning where the knowledge is not just transferred but emerges on its own via a virtual classroom.
Factors such as geography, disabilities or gender do not remain impediments in a virtual classroom. The online sessions are far more convenient and effective as the teacher and learner can connect from anywhere with just a requirement of an internet connection.
In a virtual classroom, content is primarily text-based, delivered through chats, whiteboard and presentations. Also, links related to other resources and web-sites can be shared in an online session. Moreover, session recordings are readily available to students to revisit them as required.
The main power of the internet based learning is the enhancement of the ambit of learning sphere for a learner. With the different types of interactions like learner-learner, learner-teacher, teacher-teacher, and learner-others, the learner can use a blend of learning styles.