Will Richardson’s wiki notes from this presentation. The following are notes from two back-to-back presentations by Will on Thursday, Nov. 16th.
Will began his first presentation by presenting a number of different ways in which our young students are using web 2.0 tools to build networks on their own. He showed the clipbandits video on youtube which is the band that claims to have never met face-to-face. Kids are using myspace to build networks and he showed some not-so-great examples of some myspace blogs. Will pondered if we were teaching our kids how to use myspace and I thought of my own daughter who has a very happening myspace blog which I have linked to this blog in one of my pages. She has also developed her own network of friends with whom she shares her poetry and fiction-writing on fictionpress.com.
Will pointed out that a lot of content being created by kids and being put online – shows the types of networks they are beginning to build
He used Clarence Fisher – teacher in northern Manitoba – Nata village blog – chronicles what it is like to be ravaged by HIV and AIDS.
These things are not going away – according to the PEW Internet study, kids are not using the same tools in the classroom as they are using outside of the classroom.
He discusses how much knowledge there is out there – looks at the MIT Open Courseware – however; no action taking place – just content – no face-to-face interaction. He suggested that one could cobble together a course or a tutoring situation based on this. A different type of learning is going on that equals college education – that has the same value – even if it doesn’t have a degree at the end of it.
We have a system based on knowledge being scarce – but now we have knowledge in abundance – shouldn’t we be teaching knowledge management and knowledge literacy skills?
We should be teaching research skills and knowledge-finding skills. His position validated my own decision with the kinds of projects I have been creating for my students in the last two months.
Almost 1.5 million articles – encyclopedias are dated information – wikipedia is usually relevant up-to-date information.
Will points out that the discussion tab is not as well known or used – it will shown the conversation of the authors – negotiation – what truth is – very interesting process – an important skill for students to have. It is a requisite skill for the future and even now.
Within the last 2 minutes – 500 changes in wikipedia!
Knowledge is soft – not hard anymore – this echoes George Siemen’s connectivism theory of knowledge having a shelf-life.
Looks at martinlutherking.org site – owned by white supremacists – if students look at this and don’t see the background behind it – we would call these people illiterate.
Literacy is changing – even manipulation of search results is happening.
Manipulation of ideas and opinions – how do we get through this whole thing? I immediately thought of how much manipulation of information was evident in the reporting of the war between Israel and Lebanon last summer.
Will showed us “Truthiness” – in wikipedia – a satirical term.
Teaching is changing too – we are no longer the content experts – he shows off the secret life of bees – readers’ guide to the book – sort of what my students are currently doing with the wiki to the novel, A Tourists Guide to Glengarry. Since hearing Will’s presentation, I have been following a lead to having the author of that novel participate with us in either a wiki or blog form.
Key Point = It is important now to ask what ways can I extend the learning outside of the class.
We are allowing our kids to then become teachers – most kids can teach – have a real audience and a real purpose.
We find audiences and we can find purposes – look for our audio interview with Tim Tyson, principal of Mabry Middle School, on what his school is doing!
So much shifting and changing – it is imperative that our kids use these tools well.
Weblogs in Schools
You can find people and have very intensive exchanges with people that you could not before…
The idea that people can find my thoughts and reflections and leave their own thoughts and comments and it can challenge me or affirm me –
He shows his post on why do our kids need college – many comments posting back – many coming to his blog.
The blog is an extremely important part of his life. He considers himself a blog snob. To him, blogs are more than journals – the link is a powerful thing – small pieces loosely joined (a book) – when we have links we evaluate it by where those links take us – very specific genre of writing – because of the linking and connecting – intellectual sweat for him (takes time and energy).
Anecdotal research states this is a boon to classroom writing – not too much quantitative research data – kids know they have an audience – writing improves – and is enhanced.
Kids are networking; this improves reading skills.
(idea – show kids other students blogs and look at the difference)
Blogs foster collaboration and it has become apparent that the tool can be used safely.
The point we are at with blogs in classrooms – most of what we are using – are not yet pushing the potential. It is very difficult to find best practices – hard to find spaces where students are using them as places of learning, not just places of journaling.
Good blogging starts with reading – from different sources than linking back to them.
Reading starts with RSS – good blogging begins with reading – responding, synthesizing, doing critical thinking before they begin the writing process.
The idea is to get students to read blogs – and challenge how to vet the authority of a blog.
Use technorati or google blog search to find blogs.
- Ideas for blogging – check out Anne Davis’ wiki. She goes out at it from a pedagogical sense
GaETC Conference, web 2.0, Will Richardson,
Clarence Fisher, Anne Davis