However, the realities of how we interact with Web 2.0 Technology contradicts our mission. Youtube is blocked. Google images are blocked. This very blog is blocked, as are other blog sites.
How are we preparing our students for the current (and future) world if they don't have access to the online world? How can we claim to be a 21st century learning community if Web 2.0 technologies are prohibited? Our schools are becoming more and more skilled at constructing walls rather than opening windows to the greater online community where students can publish, interact, and dialogue with people all over the world. Unless we as educators and law makers wake up, we will continue to make school irrelevent to students' lives. I am reminded of Will Richardson's article in Edutopia entitled The Internet Breaks School Walls Down. This article was written three years ago. Since then, the educational community (even those claiming to be "21st Century Learning Communities") still restrict access to Web 2.0 technologies. As Richardson says,
"...Twenty-five or fifty years from now, when four or five billion people are connecting online, the real story of these times won't be the more global tests and transformations these technologies offered. How, as educators and learners, did we respond? Did we embrace the potentials of a connected, collaborative world and put our creative imaginations to work to reenvision our classrooms? Did we use these new tools to develop passionate, fearless, lifelong learners? Did we ourselves become those learners?
Or did we cling to old ideas, old models, and old habits and drift more fully into irrelevance in our students' eyes?