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CoSN Releases Study, 'Leadership for Web 2.0 in Education: Promise and Reality'

Posted May 5, 2009
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The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has released a new study that finds school district administrators understand the significance of Web 2.0 for teaching and learning, but the actual use of Web 2.0 to improve the learning environment in U.S. schools is quite limited. The study, Leadership for Web 2.0 in Education: Promise and Reality, which was made possible through a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, was produced to gain understanding of the beliefs, perspectives, and practices of administrators which are conducive to or constraining effective use of Web 2.0.


The study collected data from nearly 1,200 school administrators on the role of digital media in American schools. CoSN worked with the Metiri Group, which conducted the survey of three key groups of education administrators - school district superintendents, curriculum directors and technology officers.


The key findings of the study include the following:

*          The nation's district administrators are overwhelmingly positive about the impact of Web 2.0 on students' lives and their education.

*          Keeping students interested and engaged in school is the top priority for Web 2.0 in American schools.

*          The majority of district administrators believe that student use of Web 2.0 should be limited to participation on approved educational Web sites.

*          The majority of school districts ban social networking and chat rooms while allowing prescribed educational use for most of the other Web 2.0 tools.

*          While curriculum directors report low levels of general use of Web 2.0, they describe significant opportunities in curricula and teaching materials.

*          Curriculum directors reported that Web 2.0 will be used most effectively in social studies, writing, science, and reading at all grade levels.

*          The use of these tools in American classrooms remains the province of individual pioneering classrooms.

*          Web 2.0 is outpacing the capacity of K-12 education to innovate.

*          District administrators, the persons responsible for the decision-making on Web 2.0 in schools, are more passive than active users in the Web 2.0 space.


This survey is part of a grant that CoSN received last July from the MacArthur Foundation as part of the foundation's digital media and learning initiative. The initiative focuses on how digital media are changing the face of education, learning and students' daily lives. CoSN's Schools and Participatory Culture: Overcoming Organizational and Policy Barriers grant aims to identify the organizational and policy barriers that impede the adoption of new media in schools, and to develop and implement an action plan with recommendations on how to overcome the barriers.


For a full copy of the study, please visit this website: <> ; for a copy of the executive summary:

Source: Consortium for School Networking (CoSN),

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