THESE ARE MY NOTES FROM WILL RICHARDSON’S SESSION ON WEDNESDAY AT NECC 2007. WILL HAS VERY THOROUGH NOTES ON http://handitinnecc.wikispaces.com/. I’M LIVE BLOGGING THIS AND WILL WRITE “END OF NOTES” WHEN WE’RE FINISHED. I’M RECORDING THIS SESSION AND WILL POST SUBSEQUENTLY AS A PODCAST.

The Saturday edubloggercon was a powerful meet-up
– it was the unconference model

I believe this is an extremely important moment today as we seek to figure out what it means to live on an interconnected planet
– how can web 2.0 change teaching and learning

I believe it really does significantly change everything, or at least force us to reconsider many things

This is the beginning of a very big conversation that will be continuing
– I don’t have a lot of answers
– I have a lot of questions
– we’re trying to figure out what the paths / roads are
– individually we may have some answers
– how does that translate into classrooms, esp. how it translates systemically

there are so many things standing in the way of reform in education
– I’m going to share how I see the landscape

I urge you to meet someone new in this room and make them a part of your network
– this is about getting connected and extending our learning network

While the future is not really clear
– this is one of the
– I am a parent of a 7 and 9 year old

[HOW COOL IT IS THAT PEOPLE LIKE WILL, CHRIS WALSH, AND MANY OTHERS I'VE MET IN THIS COMMNITY ARE PARENTS IN A SIMILAR SEASON OF LIFE TO OUR FAMILY.]

Book titles:
“Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything” (Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams)
Taking IT Global: exemplifying the power of coming together around their passions and making a difference
– that is what is so different today, being able to connect to other passionate people
– that network is a big part of my kids’ future

My kids are going to enter a hyperconnected country
– there is little doubt we are heading toward that world
– we will be able to get online anytime, anywhere
– there are still 20% of the people in this country who don’t have regular access to the Internet
– leveraging that connection for their own learning is HUGE
– if you are not using that connection well, that is a waste of bandwidth

This world is becoming hypertransparent
– many of our kids live their lives online

Having this session podcasted is very different from our conceptions of traditional

the world of our kids will be extremely collaborative, working with diverse people
– our kids will have to work with

At Google Teacher’s Academy in NY early this year
– Google employee showed her computer: multiple IM windows, work going on with multiple places

It used to be “do your own work”
– in their world of the future, it will be more “do your work with others” and “bring others into the process”
– question of who do you trust will continue to be more important

Thinks will be more open
– Look at Creative Commons if you haven’t already

We don’t think of learning as “the network”
– we are scared in many ways of putting our kids’ work
– we are cooperative in many cases, but not COLLABORATIVE
– we need to take a look at how these trends bear out

Changes are significant
– content is not scarce
– MITOpenCourseware: all 1600 of its courses are now online available for free, everything

wikipedia is without a question the most important site on the Internet
– remember errors are everyone, even in traditional encyclopedias
– currency in many ways make up for editorial mistakes
– World Trade Center and Pluto are big examples

look at the last 500 changes made in WikiPedia
– last 3 minutes, 500 changes have been made
– somewhere around a quarter million to 400,000 changes per day

I wonder as my daughter learns all the state capitals, when she grows up will that learning experience

we need to rethink the focus we are putting on content in a world where content is constantly changing
– I’m not sure how relevant much of what we teach is, how long will it remain accurate

Our kids understand these technologies often to a greater
– 55-60% of adolescents have a social networking site
– there is a disconnect between the way we use social technologies, and kids do
– in many ways kids are more fearless
– I’m not sure I buy the metaphor of “digital natives”
– the kids are more willing to try, but they still need us, need help finding ways to leverage it
– problem: there are few people who know how to help kids through that and the pedagogies of those tools

Microsoft’s new desk video from Popularmechanics.com

the technology is not slowing down

I have been a blogger for about 5 years, 2600 posts, over 5000 comments from others

difference in learning in formal school was that I HAD to do it, 95% of the learning I do on the network is because I want to do it, I want to
– learning is not limited by 4 walls AT ALL
– we have to stop looking at our classrooms as walls, and instead think of the world as the classroom

it is content based

I get frustrated with the big piles of paper the kids bring home in their FRIDAY FOLDER each week

[MY THOUGHT: THE REASON FOR THIS IS THAT THE PREDOMINANT TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM IS STILL THE PENCIL. THE DOMINANT TECHNOLOGY DEFINES THE PREDOMINANT LEARNING ACTIVITIES (AND ESPECIALLY THE ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES) THAT ARE USED AND COMMON. THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO BE ADVOCATING FOR THE THOUGHTFUL AND TRANSFORMATIVE USE OF PORTABLE, ELECTRONIC DEVICES THAT PERMIT CONTENT CREATION AND COLLABORATION (LAPTOPS) IN SCHOOLS.]

I desperately want my kids to be motivated, to be able to set their own curriculum
– my own son is passionate about baseball cards

what the curriculum is and what “needs to be covered” is a critical issue
– it can and should be different for our kids

most assessments are external, that is a systemic feature

There is not any quantitative evidence that these web 2.0 tools do anything to change the formal assessments that are being used

[I REALLY TAKE ISSUE WITH THIS. THERE IS PLENTY OF RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE OUT THERE THAT THE MORE KIDS READ, THE BETTER THEY READ AS WELL AS WRITE. THERE IS EVIDENCE THE MORE KIDS WRITE, THE BETTER THEY WRITE. SEE “The Power of Reading, Second Edition: Insights from the Research” (Stephen D. Krashen) FOR MORE.

collaborative learning is real work for real audiences, where kids have a real stake

WSJ: IMB has 20,000 wikis with 100,000 users, huge number of social networks, bloggers, owns 50 islands in 2nd life
– article last week

question: are our practices preparing kids for THEIR world when they leave our system?
– I think the answer to that now is a difficult one
– kids are going to change jobs regularly
– teachers don’t know this because they stay in the profession forever

[ACTUALLY WE HAVE HUGE TEACHER RETENTION PROBLEMS, TEACHING IS A REVOLVING DOOR FOR MANY.]

are we teaching kids how to be lifelong learners?
– kids need to see people who are modeling learning in front of them every day
– their teachers are passionate about understanding, knowledge, that learning doesn’t stop when they go home

Tom Friedman is releasing version 3.0 of his book this summer with 3 new chapters

The Sam Jackson College Experience blog

how do we help our kids take the initiative?
how do we help our kids be self-starters?

how do I know who to trust? how do I

“The Cult of the Amateur: How today’s Internet is killing our culture” (Andrew Keen)

premise is that everything is dumbed down when all amateur’s are sharing and publishing
– I don’t agree with all of this

How do you build networks right now?
– what is that process?
– how do they define what truth is?
– what does community mean?

Whole concept of a learning network
del.icio.us network explorer

The link is what powers the network

[GREAT TRICK FROM KARLA IN THE SESSION, GET PAGE INFO IN FIREFOX TO SHOW ALL THE LINKS]

folksonomy

most powerful moment of edubloggercon was when Steve Hargadon said how many of you would like to spend some time learning tools
– that said this is about learning and conversation, not manipulation of the technology
– kids need to know how to safely publish, how to be transparent

Great article “scan this book” in the NYT
– Google is trying to scan all books
– when all that info is online, our kids need to know how to add to that, how to become part of this process

My son who is 7 edited the Idterod page on WikiPedia
– he may not have known what he was doing

kids need to be self-regulators
– I am guilty of losing my balance in this environment
– spending too much time in this environment
– we need to help our kids with balance
– do you know a kid on World of Warcraft, on the Wii, whatever… all the time
– that is not healthy
– we need to model balance

Kids need to be self-protectors
– they need to know how to keep themselves safe

we don’t want our kids’ digital record to come back to haunt them
– that is like trying to teach kids just using a simulator

[THIS IS A GOOD ANALOGY, BUT SIMULATORS (WALLED GARDENS) DO PLAY A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE IN EDUCATION AND LEARNING. WE USED SIMULATORS EXTENSIVELY IN USAF UNDERGRADUATE PILOT TRAINING.]

These are not units we need to just “cover” once in

who is teaching our kids?
– if we address these questions and issues in a systemic way, we’ll be ok

are kids going to make stupid choices?
– yes, of course
– but kids have to learn it, we have to give them that opportunity

how do we bring this stuff to our kids, inculcate this into our curriculum?

example of Radio Willowweb podcasts (#24 about Ants, 1st grade)

Voicethread website: easy tool that allows kids to publish and share their work
– this kind of sharing of voices online

Flat Classrooms Wiki
– letting kids teacher themselves about the “flatteners” of the world

Marco Torres: I have to find a channel to those kids
– using video
www.sfett.com//movie.php?mov=5-parents
– all of your work as a student has to have wings; go beyond the classroom, be for a real purpose
– that ran on television
– homework and work in this environment needs to be like that: real work for real people
– if we are just passing papers we are not doing what we need to do

It always comes down to the “yeah-buts” – the obstacles and things standing in the way

this is more about YOU figuring out how these technologies can impact your learning and your practices
– when I first started doing this 5-6 years ago, there were just a handful of searchers
– now there are hundreds of teachers doing that
– what I see mostly is the same pedagogy of the analog world just being digitized

You can model your own use of these technologies

this is not just a conversations about schools, it is about conversations about all constituencies

[THIS IS WHY I THINK THE IDEA OF FINDING MORE ENTRY POINTS TO CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE FLAT WORLD, CHANGING ENVIRONMENT]

There is no reason you can’t use these tools to help your kids do well on the test
– until YOU (the teacher) use them, you will have a difficult job using these tools

result to the “I don’t have the time.” Response: Too bad, suck it up, you bought into education and this is the moment we are in.
– if you can’t make the time at this point to do this, then you ought to think about doing something else. Because you’re not helping our kids if you’re not working to

I’m scared: So am I. And you should be.

[I REALLY DON'T THINK I'M SCARED AT THIS POINT. THERE IS A LOT OF DISRUPTIVE STUFF GOING ON AND I THINK MUCH OF IT IS TROUBLING AND PROBLEMATIC, AND CHALLENGING, AND..... BUT NOT NECESSARILY FEARFUL AT THE END OF THE DAY.]

If you are scared right now it means you care.

[I DON'T AGREE. THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE SCARED AND ARE INTERESTED IN PREVENTING THE FUTURE, NOT INVENTING IT. BEING SCARED IS NOT NECESSARILY CONSTRUCTIVE. IT CAN BE LEVERAGED PERHAPS, BUT WE HAVE TO CONVERT FEAR INTO INSPIRATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITY. SAAVY AWARENESS. PROACTIVE AND COLLABORATIVE ACTION PLANNING AT INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP LEVELS.]

We are all on the train. That is all good. More people know about blogs and podcasts, social tools and social networking.

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On this day..

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  • lajones

    I thought that I commented already… (guess I was wrong)
    Anyway, the focus of this talk is right on, and I always agree with your comments. The main thing is that we have got to begin to understand that there is no fear in regarding education as it truly is…not how we may have tried to construct it in the past. There is some good software out there that encourages students to construct their own understanding within the context that the teacher is trying to convey(smart tech, concept-mapping), as well as interactive software that enables teachers to have a real-time direction as to whether they are being effective or not so that they can adapt their lessons accordingly (smart tech sentero). I’m not pitching a particular company, but these are the types of things that teachers have been asking for for a while. It’s exciting to see some business respond, but I hope that we don’t get mislead into thinking that this is just another business opportunity. It’s got to be about our children. Everyone’s children. This is the only way to better prepare our nation.

  • http://connectedlearning.wordpress.com Jeff Yearout

    Often times, I think the “I don’t have the time” comment is really a smokescreen for the feeling that either one doesn’t have the technical skills to navigate these tools OR the feeling of being overwhelmed with so much information and tools readily available that you think you’re drowning.

    I can certainly relate to the second, even being as adept at and interested in all the possibilities of the W2.0 world. This is where those of us a little more skilled need to help the “rookies” with ways to try and sort through and manage all this info. Personally, I try to use my personalized iGoogle page and del.icio.us as much as I can, though del.icio.us got kind of pushed to the side this past year because my now previous employer had it blocked.

    As far as the first, well, those of us who want to lead need to “evangalize” more, for lack of a better term. That might mean offering to provide professional development sessions in our own buildings, or just simply being willing to sit down one-on-one with someone. Its all about connections, and for a lot of people who are leery, having that person you feel comfortable with to ask questions (even ones they might think are dumb) might be enough of a tipping point for them to dive in.

    Again, thanks to WF for blogging the conference. Its the next best thing to being there!

  • Sherry Crofut

    Thank you for saying that you are not scared. I am not either. I am eager to get back to the classroom and really do this. I have switched curriculum this year so that I can model technology integration. I want to do it really well though and the conference really gave me some great ideas.

    I LOVED when will said that teachers need to suck it up when they are complaining about having no time. I never have time, but I always keep pushing through. It is what we do!

    I was in the same room, but you did an awesome job of blogging the session. I will refer back when I need a boost of inspiration. Thanks!

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