Throughout the history of American education, classrooms have been self contained entities. Innovations in technology are giving rise to powerful new models of collaboration. Perhaps in the not quite distant future theses classrooms will merge on a new venture. A venture while making profound changes in the way education is delivered to students. (For more information on the Net Generation got Digital Sandbox.
Students in Junior High, High School and college are now finding means to communicate through the use of social networking tools, such as blogs, wikis and chat rooms. Although these types of collaborations may not be education related, they have become America's youth pastime while at the same time a majority of schools have yet to be exposed to future capabilities of these new technology tools. The reason being is that education has not recognized the full potentials of Web 2.0 and new graduates in the field of education may now recognize the capabilities forming a gap of understanding and the potentials for harnessing social networking. Secondly more advanced schools will begin to encourage Web 2.0 online communities of knowledge gathering while the less advanced will take a back seat wait and see attitude.
Due to deep changes in technology, education is entering a new age where students can participate in their own expansion of knowledge like never before. In fact the MySpace generation is the largest online community in the world, where over100 million young people hangout daily.
The questions that are developed for response are as follows:
- Do students ever discuss content with peers and how often do they discuss topics outside of the classroom?
- Is the classroom an exciting intellectual environment where topics are mirrored?
- How does the classroom allow for students to make additional connections so that the student can be further immersed in using and exploring information and understanding of concepts outside of the classroom environment?
- Is the content of schooling compartmentalized and separated from cross curriculum unit development and technology-based project learning strategies.?
All of the above questions illustrate other aspects of experience in which a student is immersed. Students need to grasp larger patterns. The part is always embedded in wholes, the fact is always embedded in multiple contexts, and a subject is always related to many other issues and content.