Teachers driving Web 2.0?
Forget the old view of teachers as anti-technology luddites more comfortable in front of a blackboard than a home page. Teachers get high marks for driving the adoption of a wide variety of [Web 2.0 technologies](/software/article.php/3783466/Better+Social+Networking+From+Intel.htm), according to a recent survey.
Specifically, K-12 teachers were most frequently cited for driving the adoption of digital multimedia resources (78 percent), online learning games and simulations (65 percent) and teacher-generated online content (60 percent), in the national research survey of more than 500 district technology directors commissioned by Lightspeed Systems and [Thinkronize.](http://www.thinkronize.com/)
The two companies have more than a passing interest in the results. [Lightspeed Systems ](http://www.lightspeedsystems.com/)makes network security and management software for schools, while Thinkronize is the creator of an educational search tool called netTrekker. [Atomic Learning,](http://movies.atomiclearning.com/k12/home) which also provided support for the survey, develops Web-based software training and curriculum resources for schools.
While teachers rated highly the group most cited for driving the adoption of social networking and student-generated online content was none other than ... drumroll ... students themselves.
"The research indicates that the movement toward Web 2.0 use to engage students and address individual learning needs is largely being driven in districts from the bottom up -- starting with teachers and students," said Dr. Jay Sivin-Kachala, vice president and lead researcher at Educational Systems Design.
"Furthermore, the results show that many districts are using or planning to use Web 2.0 tools in teacher professional development, which suggests that teachers will become increasingly comfortable with these technologies and better able to teach students how to use them safely and productively."
There is a persistent gap between how today's "digital" kids learn in school and how they work and interact outside of school, the companies noted in a release announcing the results. It's a trend they say underscores the critical need for districts to keep pace with technological advances and adapt to students' learning needs.
**Is it safe yet?**
At the same time, education leaders face the challenge of maintaining a high level of security and safety while allowing for creative and collaborative work using these new technologies. Lightspeed Systems and netTrekker said they've launched an ongoing "Safe Schools in a Web 2.0 World," initiative to help schools implement Web 2.0 technologies safely and effectively to improve teaching and learning.