The blogosphere is fantastically good at the business of talk. As we know, those conversations can be stimulating, thought-provoking, challenging—all ingredients for quality learning. But they can also be navel-gazing, myopic, narrow, and inconsequential. It’s rare enough to see something move from talk to action, and rarer still to experience that lighting striking in the same place more than once. Clay Burell, indefatigible teacher-of-steel and single-bound-leaper of expired paradigms and creeds outworn, is better than just about anyone else I’ve met at putting into action his core beliefs as an educator, even as they’re in constant flux. Call it walking the walk in shoes he’s inventing, assembling, field-testing, and re-inventing with each succeeding step.
Clay’s latest lightning strike is Students 2.0, a group blog written by students—as Clay says, "elevating student edubloggers" in an effort to "help the edublogosphere evolve into a more student-centered discourse." Heady, exciting stuff. The general idea—making space at the table for student voices—has been floating around for a while; a few of us batted it around earlier this year. Kudos to Clay for making it happen by gathering a global posse of talented student writers who have something to say about new ways of teaching and learning. Based on buzz since Students 2.0 launched a few days ago, there are many in the edublogosphere who are ready to listen. Now Anthony, Arthus, Dillon, Kevin, Lindsea, Nicole, Sean, and Stacy are ready to spark some lightning strikes of their own. And if there are any concerns about keeping the project going, keeping the lightning striking. . . well, they’re already thinking ahead about that, too.
And how incredibly generous of Clay to credit me with an assist on this one. I’m humbled, flattered, but mostly just plain glad to see this exciting project get off the ground. Add Students 2.0 to your feed reader and spread the word.