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CoSN's Participatory Learning in Schools

CoSN's Participatory Learning in Schools

Written by Erin Wilkey Oh
July 19, 2011

Web 2.0 tools (wikis, social networking, blogs, gaming, virtual reality, etc) are transforming the way we work, communicate, and collaborate. The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) recognizes these tools are powerful learning resources and are essential in preparing youth for life beyond school.

With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, CoSN launched its Participatory Learning in Schools: Policy & Leadership Initiative. Through this initiative, CoSN provides a collection of resources, tools, and guidance for administrators ready to help their schools and districts enter into the Web 2.0 world.

Primary Objectives

  • Disseminate information on Web 2.0 and participatory learning relevant to the roles of the three key district level administrators (superintendents, curriculum directors, and technology directors).
  • Develop and provide resources and tools for administrators that are responsive to the critical policy and organizational challenges that need to be addressed to achieve participatory learning in elementary and secondary schools.
  • Distribute information about innovative use of Web 2.0 applications in schools in other nations and assist in establishing linkages between U.S. educations and international colleagues.

Participatory Culture: Building Blocks for School Leaders
Resources in the collection include

  • an administrator’s guide to Web 2.0
  • a community toolkit for school administrators to build understanding and support for Web 2.0
  • an assessment tool for school leaders to identify level of engagement in becoming a transformative leader with Web 2.0
  • a guide for creating Acceptable Use Policies

Resources for Every Role
CoSN provides specific guidance for all involved in school leadership and transformation, including Superintendents and Administrators, Chief Technology Officers and Technology Professionals, and Chief Academic Officers and Curriculum Directors.

Read more about this initiative and explore the resources at the Participatory Learning in Schools website.

Help for Educators on AUP

As part of the Participatory Learning in Schools: Policy and Leadership Initiative, the Consortium for School Networking created Acceptable Use Policies in a Web 2.0 & Mobile Era to help school districts with developing, rethinking, or revising open Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs).

The CoSN Policy guide addresses these questions:

  1. How does policy differ from procedure and does the difference matter?
  2. What are the two major approaches used to develop district AUP policies?
  3. Is the district’s AUP a part of or the totality of the district’s technology policy?
  4. What are the key federal laws affecting Internet access, safety, and social networking in schools?
  5. How do state laws or district policies affect school districts’ Internet policies pertaining to filtering, AUPs, cyberbullying, and cell phone use?
  6. Does the increasing prevalence of Web 2.0 and student-owned mobile devices necessitate updating district ICT policies?
  7. Where can I find samples of various exemplary AUPs?
  8. What are some timely, relevant, and useful resources pertaining to the use of Web 2.0 technologies in schools?

The guide is available online or as a PDF download.
Open Acceptable Use Policies Web 20 Mobile Era.pdf

Participatory Culture: Building Blocks

The Participatory Culture Suite from CoSN is a set of resources designed to support administrators and other school leaders as they work to transform their schools into Web 2.0-enabled participatory learning environments. The resources provide school leaders with several tools for reflecting on their own and their school’s use of Web 2.0. There are role-specific action plans for superintendents, administratiors, chief technology officers, and chief academic officers. The suite also includes audience-specific handouts and a slide presentation for school leaders to use with parents, teachers, and other staff in building support for the transformation to participatory learning with Web 2.0.

The suite is divided into three sections:

Leading with Web 2.0
Premier resource for school administrators on collaborative tools in K-12 education. 

Learning with Web 2.0
Community toolkit for school administrators to build understanding and support for collaborative tools in K-12 education.

Transformative Leadership with Web 2.0.
Assessment tool for school leaders to identify level of engagement in becoming a Transformative Leader with Web 2.0. 

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