Monday, November 3, 2008

Why the Read/Write Web Changes Everything

A Web of Connections: Why the Read/Write Web Changes Everything
Presenter: Will Richardson
The Web has brought a world of information to our fingertips and, in the process, has transformed much of the way we work and live. Will Richardson presented a passionate argument how we in education must be knowledgeable about the world in which the students we teach live and communicate. We no longer can abide by the rules of content being scarce and deliverable by teachers. Content is not static and is always changing and whether we like it or not our students are a part of that change.

Teachers must begin to re-envision the basic foundations of teaching and learning. Students now have the capabilities of organizing large groups of people together for support, knowledge, and information. Will Richardson emphasized this by sharing a large number of student blogs created by students OUT of the school environment due to the fact that most schools block this type of social networking. He emphasized the need in this new world of global connections to teach students how to create, grow, and navigate their own personal learning networks.

Will Richardson's website can be found at
Will's blog has an enormous amount of worthwhile links to investigate and comment.

Laura's Blog - A middle school student tries to make a difference - and has!
This website is hosted by Laura's mom, Angela, but Laura writes almost all of the entries. Check out her first entry on December 1st, of 2007.

I have also purchased Will Richardson's Book, Blogs, Wikis, Podasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. You are welcome to borrow the book anytime.

What do you guys think about this shift in teaching? Should we spend more time teaching our students how to manage the technology that students are already using instead of have them check them at the door?

He parts with a quote and a thought - Best teachers will be the ones kids find, not the ones given.


  1. The shift is coming whether we like it or not. We need to control the technology, just like we control our internet traffic and not simply turn it off.

  2. The most important part of your post, Lisette, is the idea of building connections. Obviously, many kids (and adults) crave the open communication and sharing of ideas that can be found on the web.

    Given limited technology availability (and let me be honest, my limited capability in using this type of technology, let alone teaching it), there still must be ways to open doors for kids to connect with one another and with the base of knowledge that they have to know before they leave my class. While I'm still fascinated by the effectiveness of integrating technology, I'm even more curious about the deeper concept of engaging kids in learning. Isn't this the key to the motivational piece that we often feel we're missing? Were there workshops on this that didn't focus on technology? Or is technology the critical element?

    I have all these big questions ... thanks for setting up this blog. I'm very interested to hear more of what you all gleaned from the Middle School conference!!!