Will Richardson Keynote-A Web of Connections: Why the Read/Write Web Changes Everything

November 20, 2007

On Wednesday morning at the NSBA T + L Conference, Will Richardson conducted a breakfast Keynote about the read/write web and the importance of staying the course and rolling up our sleeves and actually answering the question, “How do these technologies effect teaching and learning?”

I did not live blog this as my computer was just about out of juice, but that was ok. I took pretty good notes. He also gave us a wiki address that he was presenting from–he had this wiki showing on the screen and as he presented he selected various resources to show us. What an efficient way to do a presentation!

My major take-aways from this session were threefold:

1. That Business is changing-they use social networks in so many ways. But education is not changing and this is a problem which is proposing challenges. How will our kids compete? Sure, we will have to teach safety and privacy and ethical use of these technologies, but if we don’t who will? The students are using these technologies already without our support or input, so at some point we need to step up and teach them how to conduct themselves safely and ethically. How to weed out the trash and actually decipher the effective media to find the most accurate information. We need to teach this. And it needs to be deliberate.

2. Kids will be engaged if they believe they have an authentic audience. While they are creating their products and expressing their knowledge on topics, discovering their learning, we need to come away from the typical worksheet approach in the way that they show us their learning. There are many ways that students can engage and share their learning experiences with an audience, using media, technology, that is authentic, and much more effective for the learners. Through the collaborative process, the students will learn not only how to express and communicate, but also how to collaborate. Skills that business says they need to succeed in the 21st century. Teachers need to get out of the rut of the “Friday Folder” model where that is the only evidence of the students’ learning. According to Will Richardson, “Complacency is the worst mistake you can make.” Break out of the same old same old and engage in the problem-solving, authentic, engaging world of true collaboration.

3. Leaders make the difference. They have to be committed to the process, and to the message. Also, they need to model it, and make way for resources.

Then Will gave 7 keys to Getting this done in your district or learning community. Here they are:

1. Jump on creative opportunities
2. Awaken your senses
3. Look beyond the obvious-discover potential
4. The nurturing environment-cultivate teamwork and collective creativity
5. Take creative inspiration from constraints and challenges
6. Risk-taking-it’s the road to innovation
7. The passionate creative leader who never looses site of the potential around him and shares success with all around him

I had an opportunity to meet Will Richardson after this session during a conversation session and it was such a pleasure. He talked to me about our school district and some of the basic trends we see in education. I appreciated the time he took with me!


One comment

  1. Nancy,
    Will spoke at our conference last week. His message is right on….hope you are able to carry it forward. I’m trying…

    Hope all is well.

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