Monday, May 19, 2008

Finding out about edZone

The Spring issue of DataBus, a periodical of the California Educational Technology Professionals Association had an article by Alan Phillips of the Imperial County Office of Education about the California K12 High Speed Network that indicated that this California project would try to "encourage educators to utilize the latest web technology and tools, while simultaneously addressing concerns about appropriate content and providing access with risks minimized." They would accomplish this by providing platforms for blogs, wikis, podcasting and other web 2.0 tools and then only allowing access to those "verified as a member of California's K-12 educational system." Seemed like a great idea but why not adult educators too?

I sent off an email to John Fleischman, Director of Technology Services for the Sacramento County Office of Education and Executive Director of OTAN (Outreach and Technical Assistance Network) figuring he'd know the full story and inquired about adult educator access. He assured me that adult educators ARE already included in the group of eligible educators, and that adult education is one of the categories for all of the different products available. For example, if you want to find images or blogs posted or created by adult educators, you can search "adult education" to find them.

I spent about an hour exploring the various options available at the present time and while I don't yet have a complete handle on all of them, I can say that they are relatively easy to figure out and could function especially well for teachers who work in districts where more mainstream web 2.0 tools are blocked.

You can find more information at My new blog there is at
If you click on "adult education" in the list of "channels" on the right, you'll see some of my other attempts at using the tools listed. Click on the "My edZone" link to get to the California K12 High Speed Network homepage to log in to an existing account or create a new one.