Image Source: FutureThink.com
Will Richardson's recent article, "Becoming Network-Wise" in the March 2009 print edition of Educational Leadership -- pushed my thinking about bridging the digital disconnect between the lives students live at home and what they encounter in the classroom. With the explosion of Web 2.0, or what Richardson calls "connective online technologies" (blogs, wikis, social networking) our students are out there exploring and building their digital footprints; however, little is being done in our schools to prepare students to engage in this participatory landscape.
Here are some of the powerful take-aways I underlined while reading this piece on the subway ride home last night.
Richardson on "Their Networked Futures":
"In short, they must be self-directed, self-motivated lifelong learners who are network-literate in their creation and participation in these spaces."Richardson on the importance of embedding the 21st century skills into traditional curriculum:
"In these self-made, online, networked classrooms, traditional reading and writing literacies are no less important. In fact, we must be willing to expand scope of literacy in a world where much of what we read is unedited in the conventional sense and where a precursor to building networks is a willingness to write and publish online using a variety of media."Richardson on using RSS Feeds as a powerful tool for teaching and learning:
"In addition to using traditional texts to do research, students could use RSS feeds to create a consistent stream of news stories, blog posts, videos, and photos related to a given topic coming to their desktops or cell phones, which they can access at a moment's notice. Their task then becomes to filter this stream for the most relevant and accurate items, using critical-reading skills to follow links and dive more deeply into the information."As an example, Richardson explains that students studying the effects of global warming could subscribe to feeds from all across the world (NY Times, China Daily, etc.), and then bring their research back to the classroom and compare and contrast their findings. Taking that notion one step further he states:
"...they could use RSS feeds to scour the blogosphere to identify expert voices."Finally, Richardson on helping young people develop their digital footprints:
"Teaching students to contribute and collaborate online in ways that are both safe and appropriate requires instruction and modeling, not simply crossing our fingers and hoping for the best when they go home and do it on their own."