Just wanted to say thanks to those of you from around the world that contributed to the wiki for our presentation yesterday. (For those who may still want to play, it will stay public for the near future.) It took me a good part of last night and this morning to read through the wonderful responses. Suffice to say, my brain is reeling. The messages and resources and ideas that you left were absolutely powerful, and I know I speak for Karl and Anne when I say that it definitely brought the potential of collaborative, global, social tools home to our audience. As I was reading off the list of countries represented, the amazement was palpable. We really appreciate the help.
Also, just a public thanks as well to Clarence Fisher and his students in Manitoba, to Anne’s students back in Colorado, and to Jeff Utecht in Shanghai for Skyping in with us during the session. As one of the technology directors said to me at the lunch break, “The Skype stuff was the best. I turned to my headmaster and said ‘see, we can do this now. What are we waiting for?'” Amen to that.
I’ve been writing for a long time here and elsewhere that one of our changing roles as teachers revolves around the idea that we are now connectors as much as content experts. I think that holds true for presenters and presentations as well. We who travel around evangelizing these technologies are for the most part simply trying to start some conversations, conversations that are going to be unique for every school, every community, every district. Nothing does that better than making our own practice transparent to the people in the room. One of the less often noted aspects of the people who are nodes in this network is their willingness to help put a real face on the message. I’m constantly amazed by how generous people are with their time and ideas all in name of simply getting people to think and reconsider the state of their worlds.
My continued sincere thanks to all of you.
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Ann Perrone says
Dear Will, Anne and Karl,
Thanks for a really thought provoking, no…mind blowing presentation yesterday! I am a lower school tech person so I don’t have much influence over what the other divisions do but I will try to continue to evangelize for “connectors” because I share your passion for getting students ethically and safely connected to the educational world.
All the best!
Diana Laufenberg says
Because I am a visual kind of person, love to see info in a format that is more than just text and links… I wanted to see what all the wiki contributions would look like on a map. So my trusty student aides went through each submission and made a placemark for each one and pasted in the contributor comments as well.
The greatest part of this was that I was able to share with my students the real’ness’ of the network. They said things like, so is this where you get all that stuff for class and is this like myspace for ‘old people’. Two of the boys were skaters and I asked them how they got information about all the new trends in skating, what was their network. After they explained their process, we concluded that we went about it in much the same way. It was a great way to share my network with them and for them to share their process with me. In the end, it really wasn’t all that different. There is a link to the map off the original wiki page.
Dennis Harter says
The power of the collective intelligence that we can tap into with the web continues to amaze me. But even more so now, I am impressed and encouraged by the willingness of people to do so.
People continue to want to better EVERYONE’S knowledge and understanding through sharing, collaborating, and conversation.
I remember someone telling me (though I can’t remember who) that true collaboration is when educators recognize that they are no longer responsible for the education of their students, but rather they are responsible for the education of ALL students.
While easy for me to say in my tech coordinator role – it’s a tough thing to let go of and acknowledge for a lot of educators.
At the school level, that means a teacher letting go of caring only about the experience that their own students get and sharing ideas and resources with colleagues so that all children at the grade level or school benefit.
At an administrative level, that means letting go of representing only your own building or division and working cooperatively with other administrators to ensure that all students in the district or school can best learn.
And what I see daily on the web is that very concept applied to its greatest level. We share ideas and resources not only so that our kids at our schools benefit, but so that ALL kids at ALL schools benefit.
We want EDUCATION to improve and together, we are collaborating and conversing to make that happen.
Together we are all smart and sharing. And that’s a pretty powerful combination.
This was a great wiki. Please leave it up for awhile. All the links are worth reading and many of these teachers are so very creative. It is worth bookmarking many of these blogs and URL’s.
I want to pass these sites on to my colleagues:)
Gerald Ardito says
This is so inspiring. It is just dazzling and dizzying to think that so many of us are working on so much.
Thanks for making this real.