Friday, October 12, 2007


Will Richardson makes the sun shine on a rainy Maine day.
ACTEM - keynote 2007

A Web of Connections: Why the Read/Write Web Changes Everything

These technologies are going to push us into places that we don't' even know about yet. This was one of my favorite quotes from Will's presentations. It states what I feel nearly everytime I go to a conference, join an online community of educators, listen to a World Bridges podcast, or start to create a presentation. Change is ubiquitous in educators.

Publishing and Connecting are the words from Web 2.0 These connections are what makes this new web powerful in classroom settings.
Will comes at this as an educator, blogger, and father of two public schools. He feels that his children are being prepared for today, but not for their future. Waiting to hear what he means when he comes back to this.

His suggestion - check out the Obama campaign
You can put your own blog there and use the social tools his campaign has put together. He understands the use of virtual space. January 1 and 2, MySpace will hold a straw pole -- the first primary. Think how this will effect the way the candidates work and use the web. Shouldn't we be teaching our children how to respond and use this? Why are we all blocking these sites?

Online reviews are now the new advertisements. Users critiques are being used by the world - do you think this will change the way companies

Recommended the same book as Vicki Davis did last night - Wikinomics.
Business is changing, politics is changing, consumers are changing --- what in the world are we doing in education? Our response is minimal - An interesting quick question on how many of the audience has a social site - about 10%. What do you think the numbers would have been if it had been an audience of students.

We are way behind on actual access compared to other countries. We worry about privacy, young people have a different understanding of online privacy. What can we do? Get involved. If you have never read a blog - read will's. And don't hesitate to respond - it may change your life as it changed his. It was one of the first sites that I used and it did change mine.


The power of connectivity - feedback - world connections PASSION
Many of the kids get it - just look at:

Do we teach it? who teaches myspace and how to do it well? How about allowing our kids to connect to authors of the books they read (many have their own myspace pages). We just seem to try to sweep it under the rug.
There is a teacher model in Manitoba who gets it - Clarence Fisher
he lets his 6th grade kids read blogs like: and then reflect through their own blogs. and these Canadian youngsters have gotten comments from people in that African village.

we must teach our students how to leverage connections - how to handle the worlwide networks.

Here are some questions:
why do we teach state capitals
how many sides to a trapezoid
--- text google the question -- instead teach them how to do this. Content is everywhere (MIT opencourseware example). These are different resources. Teach the students what to do with it!!!!!!!!!! Teach the students how to collaborate in wikis. Teach students how to comment on blogs. Teach how to collaborate, edit and create on the fly.
Teach how to evaluate and synthesize. Teach how to write in hypertext environments.

Wow - a long post, but everything Will touched upon just seemed so important to reference.
FABULOUS! Now motivated - and a little frightened, we are off to the rest of the Conference.

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