This is an insightful article by Eric Sheninger. Mr. Sheninger is the principal at New Milford High School in New Jersey and writes about how his attitude on the value of Web 2.0 tools in schools has dramatically shifted from one of wariness to one of promotion. He candidly admits once enforcing restrictions to technology that many districts implement today and explains how he came to move from that position.
Although school districts, within the past few years, have made great financial investments in technology, these purchases have come with restrictions that have made it very difficult for teachers and students to properly utilize the devices to their potential. In fact, many districts proudly point to their purchases as evidence of their commitment to 21st century learning. The question remains, is a purchase evidence of a commitment or is it merely an interest?
Mr. Sheninger has moved beyond interest and truly committed his district to developing 21st century learning with his students. He has also reached out to the district’s stakeholders with this same commitment and has engaged them through Twitter and Facebook. His philosophy on the use of social media in schools is refreshing and perhaps can help other districts develop a greater level of comfort with their own technology uses. Additionally, he has promoted the use of Poll Everywhere as a tool to engage and create enthusiasm in students. As part of this article, Mr. Sheninger provides a link to an event where he speaks to this issue. Not only is this article a must-read, this video is a must-see!