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From the Editor

LIVE, From Your Cell Phone!

Web 2.0 technologies bring new power to school districts.


I recently reviewed an amazing online technology on (pronounced "quick") that allows users to stream live video from cell phones directly to the Internet. The site presents hundreds of experimental film clips from across the world, including multiple examples filmed by participants in the last Web 2.0 Expo conference on the "next generation Web." Other films include interviews with photographer Ansel Adams' son Michael from Yosemite and his father's art gallery, and an interview with YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. But I particularly enjoyed looking over the shoulders of "qikkers" and hearing their commentary as filming took place, since the site indicates which clips are live. My mind was spinning with potential applications such power could bring to K12 teaching, learning and professional development.

Opening Doors

In fact, new Web 2.0 or "read/write Web" technologies - where users can put their own content online - seem to grow overnight, and each opens new doors for K12 education. For example, videoconferencing has largely been out of reach in districts because of high equipment costs and the need for special facilities, but thanks to Web 2.0 technology, that is no longer true.

Qik lets users stream video from cell phones to the Internet.

In this issue of DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION, senior editor Gary Stager shows us how free Web tools including uStream, Skype, iChat and MeBeam make video communications accessible to every district, and how an online technology such as Twitter can be used to gather participants for ad hoc videoconferences instantaneously. And if you need high-quality images or studio installations, new products editor Kurt Dyrli will offer a guide to products and services from major companies that support videoconferencing in K12 education. In addition, the resources section of our Web site presents an online directory of emerging Web 2.0 technologies such as podcasting, wiki sites and RSS.

Other features in this issue include a new "Conversations" series where we interview national education leaders, this month curriculum experts Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis; an initial article on legal issues in schools that this month looks at requirements in transporting special education students, and the cover story on cost cutting in purchasing school building products.

Have a wonderful summer!

Odvard Egil Dyrli, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF,