Presentations, Keynotes, Workshops

"I mean this in all sincerity: Your message could not have been more timely or more well received by our staff. You built the case for change so convincingly that I believe we now have a shared platform of belief from which to begin the work with enthusiasm rather than resistance."

~Rob Glass, Superintendent, Bloomfield Hills, MI, August, 2012

For more information, or to discuss a personalized presentation, please e-mail me. Also, here is an updated list of upcoming speaking events. 

Learning in a Networked World: For Ourselves and for Our Students

Keynote: If we have access and the skills to take advantage of it, the Web gives us an easy connection to the people and the resources that we need to learn whatever we want to learn, when we want to learn it. That fact challenges the fundamental beliefs that we’ve held about schools and teaching and learning for over 100 years. As our students graduate into a fast-changing, globally networked world, what assumptions do we need to reconsider about how to best prepare them for their futures? How can each one of us begin to change our own learning practice to better model these new opportunities for our students? And what new challenges do we have to overcome to make sure the idea of school remains relevant in the networked world in which our students will live?

"Will is a speaker of incredible knowledge and passion for using collaborative technologies in order to develop your own personal learning network and affording opportunities for students to do the same in the classroom."

—Doug Peterson, Ontario

NEW! Teaching and Learning in an Age of Abundance

Two trillion webpages. Two billion people connected online. Over 600,000 apps. 1.2 billion smartphones. 

In just over a decade, we’ve gone from a world where access to information, knowledge, and teachers was relatively scarce to a world where all of those are absolutely abundant. That fact dramatically changes they way we think about education and what the kids in our schools will need to survive and flourish in a fast changing, networked and connected world.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the shifts from scarcity to abundance as they apply to learning, thinking deeply about ourselves as learners along the way. How do our expectations of literacy change when the unedited sum of human knowledge is at our fingertips? How do we connect with others to create real work that adds to that knowledge base and changes the world for the better? How do we deal with the transparency required to make the best of public learning spaces online? And more.

Educating for abundance means that instead of becoming college or career ready, our students need to be learning ready, able to fully take advantage of all they now have access to and develop their own paths to an education and work. This intensive one or two day experience will fundamentally change the way you think about education and schooling, and will start you down a new path of deep, connected, modern learning for yourself and your students.

From “Old School” to “Bold School”: Making the Jump from Traditional to Modern Learning

The main premise upon which schools were founded, that content and knowledge and teachers are scarce, has literally been turned on its head by the Web. Today, we carry the sum of human knowledge and access to millions of potential teachers in the phones in our pockets. And in a host of other ways, the idea of a “traditional” school is fading in it’s relevance to the new ways we and our students can learn. Given that reality, what changes? How do we rethink our roles as schools, classrooms and educators at a moment when our students have a growing number of options to cobble together an “education?” This session will discuss the paths that a number of “bold schools” are taking to fundamentally redefine their value as places of learning, not of content and teachers. We’ll discuss the challenges of remaining an “old” school, define the main characteristics of “bold” schools, look at schools that are already bridging the gap, and suggest ways to begin relevant, “bold” conversations around real change in our own schools and communities.

Raising Modern Learners

In some pretty rapid and radical ways, the Web is changing the way we learn, the way we define an education, and the way we think about work, all of which has huge implications for our children. While this moment requires that schools become decidedly “different” in they ways they serve their students, they are being held back by policy makers and parents who want only that the traditional forms of education we’ve had for over 125 years be done “better.” In short, schools are unable to provide the skills, literacies and mindsets that modern learners require to be successful as they grow into adulthood. This presentation will look at the scope and scale of these shifts, clarify the roadblocks schools face, and offer specific starting points for parents to engage in a truly “different” conversation of how best to prepare their children for a change-filled, more uncertain world in the future. 

Exploring New Literacies for a World of Networked, Self-Directed Learners and Makers

While it may seem like it, the biggest advance of the last 15 years has not been the Web and hundreds of technologies that connect us to it. No, the biggest shift is what that connectedness brings us, the new reality that each one of us can now stand as the central organizing force in our own learning, education, and work. With our growing access to the sum of human knowledge and billions of people around the world, we decide what we need to learn, when we need to learn it. Wedevelop our own pathways to an “education.” And we as individuals have the power to create and share and bring beautiful, meaningful, important work into the world. The institutions that used to mediate those interactions, schools, publishing houses and corporations among them, are all now struggling to maintain relevance. 

In this moment, those who understand the powerful affordances of the Internet to learn and create will flourish, and those who understand how to leverage those affordances for the greater good will lead. That requires a whole set of new literacies, ones that deal with not just reading and writing but collecting, creating, connecting, sharing, and sense making. In this institute, we’ll explore these shifts, and we’ll begin to develop a context and a practical framework for helping our students become literate, self-directed masters of learning and making in this new, interconnected world.  

Educating Modern Learners

WorkshopWe are in transition from traditional thinking about classrooms, teaching, schools and education to a more modern reality for all of that and more. This intensive one-day workshop for teachers, administrators, parents, and community members will  focus on how we manage that transition in our systems and personal practice.

Goals: Participants will

*Understand the changing contexts for learning in a technology rich, networked world. 

*Have a clear understanding of modern learning literacies.

*Learn a framework for beginning conversations and actions around system change from traditional to modern learning.

*Envision and design new classrooms, schools and practices to fully serve modern learning and learners.

*Develop a 5 days-5 months-5 years plan for changing personal learning practice. 

Personal Learning Networks: The Future of Learning

Keynote: Learning is social, we’ve all known that. Now, with the Web, it’s globally social. To flourish as learners in a connected world, we need a network, one that we can trust, one that we can turn to when we need answers or inspiration or direction. While we’ve always crafted these “Personal Learning Networks” in our face to face spaces, the literacies of doing so online are a bit more nuanced and complex. This session looks at what PLNs are, how they can influence our learning lives and future success, how to begin to construct them using various Web tools, and what the implications are for our students, our schools and our professional practice. We’ll also look at how diversity, balance and safety enter into the learning equation online.

"Will Richardson is an outstanding educator. His work has moved classrooms across America from boring, uninteresting rooms filled with the drone of irrelevant information to beehives of interactivity! Educators who attend his presentations or read his blogs gain valuable insight as to how to transform their classrooms with Web 2.0 tools and strategies. I highly recommend Will’s work and his engaging presentation style to any group or organization seeking an innovative, visionary presenter and an educator extraordinaire!"

—Sheryl R. Abshire, President - Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators Past-Chair - CoSN

From Information Literacy to Information Leadership

Workshop: Assessing the relevance and reliability of information is a crucial skill for all educators to master and model. But that type of information literacy is only the beginning. With the explosion of information coming online, each of us needs to use social Web technologies to employ successful strategies for finding, managing and communicating information relevant to our own practice and to our constituents. This workshop will cover the tools that information literate learners are using and the strategies to use them well.

Connective Writing

Workshop: The ability to easily publish to the Internet has opened up all sorts of new possibilities for teachers to help students enhance their writing skills and become more effective communicators. In the age of the Read/Write Web, every reader can truly be a writer as well. Weblogs and wikis provide wide and diverse audiences from around the world for feedback and response. But they also require a more “connective writing” approach, one that can synthesize many disparate ideas from different sources, all connected together through hypertext. This is a think out of the box workshop intended to help you start exploring new ways to make your own writing and your classroom writing more meaningful and more effective.

"I can’t thank you enough for your work on Saturday. I felt as if it was a transformational experience for many of us. Nothing charges up a group of teachers and classroom support staff like the question, “How can we best serve our kids?” You posed the challenge with respect but also with urgency, and those 70 influential teacher leaders are going to go home and get started addressing the issues."

—Katy Perry, Education Minnesota


Have a specific need? I’m happy to design one or two day masterclasses for your school or staff based on your unique interests. Topics covered can include:

  • Personal Learning Networks
  • Literacy
  • School Change
  • Leadership
  • Inquiry Based Learning
  • Project Based Learning
  • Professional Development
  • PLCs
  • Publishing
And more… Please e-mail me at for details. 

UnConference Sessions

I enjoy doing sessions that are based upon audience participation and questions in a more unplanned and relaxed, interactive atmosphere. It’s a chance to ask the questions that are most important to those in attendance and for me to show what’s most relevant. These sessions can be loosely defined by general topics or wide open. Groups of 20-40 work best for these types of discussions.

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Welcome! I'm Will Richardson, parent, educator, speaker, author, 12-year blogger at Weblogg-ed and now here. I'm trying to answer the question "What happens to schools and classrooms and learning in a 2.0 world?" Best selling new book: Why School?s...order now!!

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