Wednesday, June 27, 2007

NECC 2007: From Hand It In to Publish It: Re-Envisioning Our Classrooms

This session was presented by Will Richardson and revisited some of the content addressed in his CUE 2007 presentation, but share much new information as well. An added benefit of the presentation was that Richardson included a wiki of the presentation at and he included great examples of student work.
  • The Wikipedia experiences about 500 edits every 3 minutes.
  • MIT's courses are all available free online at
  • We are teaching our children keyboarding and mouse use, but that is not the way of the future.
  • Friedman will release The World is Flat 3.0 this summer (containing three additional chapters).
  • There is a Delicious site that allows us to see who is networked from a given Delicious site. It is available here.
  • He mentioned the lack of power of a taxonomy like the Dewey Decimal System in a modern society and the creation of folksonomies to fill in the need for a new organizational system.
  • He mentioned Scan This Book which is the article describing Google's attempt to scan and publish all paper-based text, ever.
  • Richardson let us hear/see examples of good teaching with Web 2.0 tools:
    • A first grade podcast about ants on Radio WillowWeb. Hear it here.
    • Grades 3-12 students connect with astronauts. See it here.
    • First graders report on their beach trip. See it here.
    • US and Bangladesh students worked together in a wiki space to understand our flattening world from a global perspective. Read it here.
He asked if our classrooms of today are preparing our students for the world in which they'll live when they graduate. Richardson cited data of Web 2.0 tools by IBM employees and noted that children graduating from high schools today will need to be retrained in that work world. The only way to prepare them for this world is to model it in the classroom and then let students experience it, making their mistakes in a safe, learning environment. Because of the anticipated frequency in job changing, it is critical we develop lifelong-, self-learners. The beginning of this is by placing teachers in front of them who are clearly lifelong learners.

Richardson noted that the discussion always comes down to the "Yeah, but..." discussion. His answer is to begin by getting teachers using the technology and to model its use. An answer to the "I have to prepare my students for the test" argument is that it is possible to use these technologies to help students master the test. For those saying "There's just no time" Richardson's answer was that it's time to "suck it up" because our students deserve it. This comment was met with widespread applause.

Technorati Tags:

No comments: