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Will Richardson facilitated a promising practice session as well as a keynote.


A Web of Connections: Why the Read/Write Web Changes Everything

See a seventeen-minute interview with Will Richardson recorded right after the keynote on February 13th.

You may be interested to know that we have asked that the video footage of this plenary session be given top priority for editing and posting. Myrna

Great session. Very clear that education needs to catch up to the possibilities of technology. Shifted my thinking from how to prevent misuse of technology to really understanding that students need to be taught the use of technology & how to avoid its negative aspects. Also very clear was how the traditional classroom in no way can compete with the possibilities and student engagement available by teaching with tech. And how much more relevant learning can occur when using tech.

Thank you for a wonderful few days! I was very inspired listening to Will. His current approach is a good one - target the educators to make the changes in their own views of literacy first. Our students have surpassed us in technology - they "unhook" every time they step into our classrooms. The only way we can catch up and see the relevance is if we start to push our own thinking and change some of our practices around personal literacies. Teachers by nature are life long learners. We simply need to step inside this new type of classroom. There is NOT a lot of time for us to catch up - we have a generation of children who are learning about the Web alone. They are unsupported as they plow through the virtual classrooms provided by the web and this is concerning. Teachers have much to offer them - critical literacy skills... basic reading/writing skills as they apply to this new precautions, just to name a few. If we don't support them, who will? Of course parents also play a role, but where do they aquire the skills to support their children? I bet very few know how to determine the legitimacy of a website!
As a system level person in our board, I believe the shift must come from both directions - grassroots and from the system level. The system needs to be prepared for what Will refers to as the "tipping point" - enough teachers willing to change. The infrastructure needs to be in place - it certainly isn't at this point! The stystem needs to grow as the demand grows. I am very interested in learning about how other boards are developing such responsive systems. There have been huge cuts to our IT budgets lately. Human resources for maintaining a growing infrastructure are severly lacking, as is money for hardware changes. We have a vision, but it will be a long time coming with the current financial constraints. I would love to see incentives provided for boards to embrace these changes. The possiblities are endless and wonderfully motivating!

Promising Practice Session

Web 2.0: Harnessing the Power of Blogs, Wikis, RSS Feeds and Social Bookmarking in the Classroom

Common Craft Videos

Here are several videos from Common Craft in plain language using the "Paperworks" technique. They are embedded YouTube videos. If you are unable to view them, try accessing them at Common Craft. .

RSS in Plain Language

Blogs in Plain Language

If you have a blog and wish to share its location add it below
Blog Address
Topics Addressed
Ross Isenegger
Web 2.0, Technology, Math
Greg Clarke
Web 2.0, Math, Tech discoveries on the web
Rodd Lucier
Less paper; less chalk; more digital tools; more engagement
Quentin D'Souza
Educational Technology
Rob De Lorenzo
Mobile Learning

Wikis in Plain Language

Social Bookmarking in Plain Language

Twitter in Plain Language

These plain English videos are excellent. I am sharing them with our curriculum SO who can get them out to schools.

Conference Tags in

We invite you to tag any bookmarks with the tag "gains08".

Here are the results so far:
    Thanks for an invigorating and informative session! I've been sharing Will's book with all my colleagues. I love the world of possibilities opened up by these online forums.

    No question, this leads to a whole new way of looking at learning for our students. I am especially intrigued by the powerful formative assessment information that can be gathered by students as they develop their ideas on the have a global community willing and interested in responding to their work. In Will's Secret Life of Bees example, even having the author interact directly with the students!! It just doesn't get any better than that! I am also thinking that this type of learning would actually place our ADD/ADHD students at a distinct advantage. I'm looking forward to seeing how this works in classrooms. I will try to devote my 15 minutes a day to starting down this journey myself. Now, my next project is to try to figure out how to convert my Wiimote into a Smartboard... Christine

    As a follow up to the feedback posted so far, I would like to encourage everyone in the teaching profession to watch the movies available on the PBS website. They can certainly be used as a springboard for a discussion.

    Like Shelley, I have also been raving about Will's message to my colleagues. I have even convinced my literacy counterpart to collaborate in setting up a wikispace for our grade 7-8 teachers to supplement (eventually replace?) our current FirstClass conference. I am also actively using Google Reader to keep up-to-date on "teaching through problem solving" discussions in blogs. I was definitely ready for Will's message and am excited to expand my new connected learning environment. Thank you to Will and to the conference organizers for a wonderfully motivating session and keynote presentation. - Michelle (7-12 Learning Services Consultant)
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