Muddling through the blogosphere

ISTE Day 2: Will Richardson – This is not a unit


Love it when a presenter already has his/her presentation posted online.  No surprise that Will Richardson’s This is not a unit presentation is already accessible for his many followers – and you can also follow the backchannel discussion at

We’re starting with  a look at the learning network of Mark Klassen, a young self-taught (with input from the online public) cinematographer who freely shares all his work and invite comments. “Sharing my work online so that other people can see it and give me feedback and advice on it has become a huge part of the way I learn.”

Seymore Sarrason – at age 91 raised the question: What does “learning” mean to you? Will has thrown the question out to the audience – none of  “productive learning is the learning process which engenders and reinforces wanting to learn more. Absent wanting to learn, the learning cntext is unproductive or counterproductive.”

Question: How do we get kids to come home with a passion to learn more? What do we really want kids to leave school knowing?

Mark Klassen has learned online from professional cinematographers.  Who can our kids learn from? Check out his In 60 Seconds graphic.

On to 8 shifts:

  1. Do talk to strangers – reality is that predators are mainly those they know. (Nancy Brace?) We don’t mess up enough to block out the world. Using his ClustrMap as his classroom – everyone who visits wants to be there. No one is teaching kids to do this well. We have to figure out how to bring strangers into our learning live.
  2. Create your G-portfolio – what comes up when you Google yourselves? So how do we help students become “Googled well” Grad requirement at some schools: students must be googled well under their own names.  It’s about having kids be publicized online. Will shared Katrina Gurule’s “my kick butt graduation speech” on FB, as example of students not understanding nothing’s private on the internet and you can’t take it back. Do students like Katrina Gurule really think that they’re never going to be employed.
  3. Share widely – If we share the best practices of our profession, we can lift up the profession.
  4. Manage information – Twitter, for instance.  Referenced  NCTE definition for 21 century literacies and asked how many kids are illiterate because we only give them one source of info (handout).
  5. Be crap detectors – Howard Rheingold (Walter Kronkite) – will push your thinking.  How do you determine authority? – kind of stupid the way they do it – but we’re at first phase of measuring how folks do stuff online. – still widely visited.
  6. Follow your passions – how can we give kids learning content that aligns with their passions. – created around the Hunger Games – set up by 3 kids who never met each other.
  7. Learning to learn (instead of learning to know) – Khan Academy – big debate – if you don’t have access to instruction, use it – but is it high-quality education? Given the amount of information out there – we can’t ignore the impact in our f2f teaching. Our students are picking their own teachers. Are we helping them do that? – myon reader (amazon for kids)
  8. Solve problems – not solving in the back of the chapter – literacy = problem solving -across cultures,etc. Check out TED with Dan Meyer.

Parting question: How do we change schools? Lots to think about from this session.  Will definitely be revisiting slideshow.

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