Monday, February 06, 2012

"Helping Educators..." My Interview with DMLcentral


Steve Hargadon’s career in education technology stems from a passionate interest in the role of technology in changing education. Known for being at the forefront of open education resources, web 2.0, and virtual live events, Hargadon has become the go-to expert in educational social networking. In 2007, he created Classroom 2.0, a social networking community for educators using web 2.0 and collaborative technologies, which in the past five years has grown to a network of more than 63,000 members worldwide. He also hosts the Future of Education interview series, a weekly podcast for which he has interviewed a rich and diverse group of key researchers, practitioners, and thought leaders from the ed tech and digital media & learning fields. His newest venture, Teacher 2.0, is designed to help promote the personal and professional growth of educators in a web 2.0 world. As discussions in educational technology begin to shift away from the technology and become more centered around pedagogy, we asked Hargadon what it really means to reimagine learning for a digital age.
When you created Classroom 2.0, your hope was that “those who are ‘beginners’ find it a supportive place to start being part of the digital dialogue.” Tell us about that mission.
Five years ago, the primary tool for educators to start talking to each other was blogging, but blogging was actually a very caustic environment. In order to get your blog comments noticed, you had to say something controversial. Blogging had a lot of all-caps arguments. When Ning shifted their services to a create-your-own-social-network format, I had a lightbulb moment. These educators who want to talk to each other -- for whom blogging had been the primary method -- should be able to do so in this new environment where instead of feeling that they had to write a five paragraph essay, they could write a one-sentence question or comment. I saw right away this incredible potential for what we were trying to accomplish with education blogging but within the framework of social networking.

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