Networked Literacy – Will Richardson

Live blogged notes - my thoughts in italics.

Changes that technology are bringing to the world is going to affect education as well. Need a personal interaction with new tools before one can implement their use in the classroom - look inwards and become a networked learner. Publishing is the easy put - it's what happens afterwards that makes the difference.

Story of Laura Stockman  - blog called 25 Days To Make A Difference. 60,000 hits  on her blog - people connected to her passion, community service. Now made a connection to Jenny Luca in Melbourne to raise money for children affected by the Victorian bushfires. Referenced Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody as a great book for illustrating the shifts that are occurring.

Kids  are connecting via phones etc. via their close personal networks firstly  and then connecting via interests.  How do we shift massive numbers of teachers into a new way of thinking with the new technology?

Networks are all around us  - do you have global connections? Yes

Need to learn how to connected to networks. Knowledge is in networks. The network is smarter than the node. No self-directed learning going on in his kids' lives. Concept of editing as we know it is gone - we need to learn how to edit what we read online.  Literacy is "malleable". Teach our kids to learn online in safe, effective and ethical ways. Teachers should model their own network literary skills throughout schooling.

Looking at the tools - RSS, blogs, Google reader, search feds, social bookmarking.

Afternoon session - looking at the concept of Connective Writing. How many of us are teaching kids to read and write in a hypertext environment? Put up a blog post from Doug Noon showing ten or more links to other blogs, articles, pdf's, videos etc. Also looked through the use of diigo to annotate sites - called it "connective reading".

Talked about - fans write new chapters for the book - No. 1 is Harry Potter with over 390,000 chapters. Writing does not only occur in text - showed (listened to) Radio WillowWeb. Real writing for real audiences for real puposes. We can write for a global audience.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm a pretty low grade live blogger. I run out of steam very quickly and I am a lousy, lousy twitter backchanneler - I don't think I added anything coherent to the stream of @willrich45 tweets as the day progressed. Maybe I was conscious of my own small presentation coming up after afternoon tea.

Anyway, I think it was interesting that tool wise I didn't really learn anything new from Will face to face - but that is more an tribute to the actual powerful potential of the same tools he was showcasing (and that I have spent time over the last four years learning to leverage). I think that the day was more geared to educators who are still relatively "green" to Web 2.0 - but don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the day and there was plenty to think about from the challenges Will kept putting out there.

I'm still disappointed about the very small (but loyal) crowd that attended the seminar - sometimes Adelaide does live up to its "hicksville" image. Where were our school leaders and department decision makers who need to hear about this stuff? I suppose I should be glad that when Will went outside for his morning coffee to overlook the Torrens Lake that it actually had water in it.

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4 thoughts on “Networked Literacy – Will Richardson

  1. Dean Shareski


    I’m still disappointed about the very small (but loyal) crowd that attended the seminar – sometimes Adelaide does live up to its “hicksville” image. Where were our school leaders and department decision makers who need to hear about this stuff?

    We are about to have our own provincial conference Monday and Tuesday,
    and fear I might be able to use the above quote as well.

  2. Mr S

    “How do we shift massive numbers of teachers into a new way of thinking with the new technology?”
    Yep, thinking of an answer for that too. Trying the “personal, use it in your own life” line at present, staff seem Ok with that, not engrossed or enthusiastic, just Ok, luke warm style.

    The powerful networks of real people is also foreign to most still to engage, still a stigma about the quality of the network as opposed to a “real” book or “real” F2F meeting. Thats why I always brag about these great online helpers I’ve discovered.

    Lets face it, little of the intuitive web2.0 stuff is ground breaking or difficult to acquire, even I have found some basics over 12 months. It is the pedagogy and attitude that are the far more serious stumbling blocks. The mantra “I haven’t, I won’t, I can’t” seems embedded. Makes me wonder if any independent PD improvement does get completed, tech focused or not.

    Maybe DET NSW 1:1 could just be the tech tipping point that forces some reluctant hands. If 30 kids show up carrying their weapons of “mass connection” it’ll either end in tears or salutes, the past fence sitting/avoidance will be diminished as an option.

    I can hear the tech frightened line already however, “turn that off, we are hear to learn, not play computers”

    At least now the tech will be in every Year 9 room and it will either confront or comfort. Black and white polarising can result in attitudinal change (or even stronger resistance)

    It may well be the next political decision (ie support with even more funds, therefore more tech in all schools) that will be the real indicator of success of not.

    I am trusting any flavoured polly will continue to support edtech investment, for they now see the emergence of world players via tech ubiquity as economic threats (read political determinates to electoral victory)

    Don’t really care about the motive for current edrev largesse, I just want schools to be better so our kids aren’t the factory floor sweepers post 2020.

    I wont be a live blogger either, maybe back channel

  3. Dean groom

    I think what is dissapointing is that edu departments do almost nothing to support teachers in curricula renewal and take will is again deliveing the message to Australia, that oh systems don’t understand or are selective in thier ignorance. Your blog was the first teacher one I read. So stop with the Hicksville stuff. See you at cegsa. Let’s hope local departments start bringing ‘us’ into schools, as we can’t endlessly talk about it, but start to answer the questions in the audience. Cheers. Dean.

  4. Graham Wegner

    @Dean Shareski. Perhaps it is a timely reminder that the “edublogophere” for want of a better term is a tiny fraction of the educator population, and people within that population with bureaucratic power are a fraction of that fraction. So, I shouldn’t be surprised. But it still makes me frustrated and disappointed. Maybe in 10 or so years, these archived bleatings might indicate that we at least recognised that there were changes in the wind.

    @Tony You are right in the fact that the DER rollout is going to be an issue that has to be dealt with in some form or another. Maybe an acceleration in high school teacher retirements – although with superannuation stocks taking a dive, many may have to grit their teeth and confront the inevitable.

    @Dean Groom. Very much looking forward to seeing you at CEGSA. I’m sorry but the hicksville label fits sometimes. How many people would turn up to see Will in Sydney? or Melbourne? More than 40 I’ll bet.


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