Tomás Chaskel from Bogotá, Colombia, has been super-anxious to help start a version of Classroom 2.0 for Latin America. When I announced that Classroom 2.0 was celebrating it's third anniversary last month by hitting 40,000 members, Tomás emailed me again about this idea and it was with some surprise that I found that the domain aula20.com was available. And so, another experiment was born.
Tomás has been starting to populate the site's framework with some of the same features as Classroom 2.0, and it's his hope that some other passionate educators will come and help build up the content and discussions. While I lived in Brazil for a year as an exchange student in high school, and my rusty Portuguese allows me to "compre-stand" most of what he's writing, I pretty much passed the point of my greatest utility once I got the network up and going. What I can do now is to look forward to helping create a framework for a series of Spanish-language open professional development events using the "Host Your Own Webinar" program I work on for Elluminate! (If anyone wants to help with that, email me directly!)
Much of what I love about the Web is the ability to experiment, which comes with a deep lesson: projects often surprise you. Something you think will be a slam dunk ends up fizzling, and something that comes out of left field can create and sustain significant interest you would never have expected. In general, I've found that I really don't know what's going to happen until the wrappers are taken off and others can play with the ideas--especially because early adopters are often more influential than the creators to the success of a Web 2.0 project. The experiments this week might never become big-time projects, but I can tell you that they wouldn't have the chance to be anything at all if they just stayed a set of notes in a Google Doc that didn't ever see the light of day and withstand the scrutiny actual users. Which is why I determined this week, while it's Spring Break and our kids are occupied with their own fun, to take some evening hours and actually push these ideas out into the open. So far: BookDiscussions.com, Library 2.0, Students 2.0 and now Aula 2.0. Tomorrow's the last day: a special double-play with OpenSourceCon and GlobalEdCon.