A day with Will Richardson, Part 1

Here is Part 1 of my notes from our day with Will Richardson. You also can see the live chat and/or follow the Twitter conversation and/or participate in EtherPad.


  • I'm going to make you uncomfortable; you should be uncomfortable
  • If you're not uncomfortable right now in education, you're not paying attention
  • Conversations are spreading far beyond physical space, in ways that previously were not possible
  • My learning today looks nothing like the learning that's occurring my kids' classrooms
  • There are no adults right now teaching kids how to LEARN, not just be social, in these networks
  • Video:
    • He assumes there's an audience and that they'll respond
    • He's comfortable asking for help
    • He views YouTube as a learning tool (Elliott Smith)
    • This is inquiry- / problem-based learning
    • After 101 views, he had 10 comments (10% hit rate); all 10 had specific feedback/suggestions for him
    • This 12-year-old kid can throw out a question to 1.7 billion people
    • Shirky: We are experiencing a tectonic shift in how we form groups and self-organize
    • Wesch: This is not simply a technological revolution, this is a cultural revolution.
    • Outside of school ALL of our learning is inquiry- / passion-based
      • That's the way that world looks for anyone with an Internet connection
      • Finland has legislated nationwide broadband access by 2012
      • Schools have a lot of tech, but nothing's really different
        • Still memorizing a lot of stuff
        • Curriculum hasn't changed
        • Instruction hasn't changed
        • This group-forming ability is everywhere
          • Obama's use of social media for Presidential election
          • Flickr tag: iranelection
          • Raw information is being released rather than it being edited / filtered first
          • We now can live stream video from our phones; imagine a world in 5 years where everyone's phone is iPhonish
          • Justin Bieber became famous by uploading his talent show videos to the Web
          • Check out surfthechannel.com
          • Today, instead of writing a letter to the editor / Better Business Bureau / CEO, you make a video
            • Business is different today because people can form groups,
            • Allstate (and others) has hired people to monitor the Twittersphere; don't call; tweet!
            • Best Buy has 1,200 people monitoring TwelpForce; don't call, tweet!
            • Alvin Toffler: if you're a cop with a speed gun, the car going by at 120 mph is business, the car going at 5 mph is education
            • This MacArthur Foundation report is a must-read
              • Kids are using social networks to connect with their friends / peers
              • They're also connecting with adults around the world in interest-based networks
                • Educators need to teach kids how to do this responsibly and powerfully b/c this will be the majority of their online interactions in the future
                • Adults are uncomfortable with the idea of being hyperconnected and hypertransparent
                  • They're wary of being open and findable
                  • How are we going to think differently in 3-5 years when every kid comes to school with ubiquitous access (via cell phones) and has the world's sum of knowledge in their pockets? (see Will's post on this, along with the 130+ comments)
                  • Research shows that the online predation issue is not nearly as big as we think; the threat is overblown; we've been Datelined to death; and that most kids are pretty good at navigating the Web safely
                    • It's a basic risk-reward equation
                    • Adults are not having these conversations with kids, they're simply blocking and/or ignoring the issue
                    • Just like we have driver's ed, we need Internet ed (Dave Keane)
                    • There's nothing personalized or passion-based about what we're asking kids to do in school
                      • How can we square this with entrepeneurship, innovation, creativity, 21st century skills, etc.?
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