It is common that students have established a presence on the web through email, social networking sites, YouTube and personal websites. In many cases, these sites are a means of communicating with friends. Clay Burell has helped several students band together to launch a collaborative blog called Students 2.0. The content is student created and edited with an emphasis on quality. The site is meant to be more than a way to keep in touch with each other. As the authors mention in the About section, “This blog is an attempt to give students a voice in where the future of education is headed.” Students are sharing their opinions about what matters to them and this includes their education.
It seems as though students are contributing and collaborating of their own volition – not for some school project. Judging by the visitor map and by the quality of comments left for each post, the site looks to be a great model for a collaborative student web activity where ideas are shared and discussed. The fact that the blog is not tied to a particular course or school makes it a remarkable student achievement in itself that challenges present notions of education. Students from around the world have worked together to contribute to the dialogue about the future of education in the hopes of giving students a greater voice. If I reflect on the Mission Statement and Core Beliefs of my school, I would say that these students have fulfilled what we as teachers strive to see in our students. By rethinking what it means to learn, lead, and teach, these students have independently engaged in a meaningful activity to create a community that shares ideas critically and reflectively through open communication.