Friday, June 13, 2008

What are students like in a Web 2.0 world?

Doug Peterson introduced me to Michael Wesch's video about Web 2.0 at the RCAC Symposium last year where it was used to introduce Will Richardson. Incidentally, I have heard that Will will be a featured speaker at the Ontario Association for Mathematics Education Annual Conference next May.

Wesch's videos explore mediated culture, seeking to merge the ideas of Media Ecology and Cultural Anthropology. He is currently working on an ethnography of YouTube.

Today, I was the two millionth person to see this video about what post-secondary students are like:

Here is the original video that I mentioned. It is a fantastic introduction to what Web 2.0 is (much better that Wikipedia's technical talk about CSS and APIs).


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out, Ross. I've written to Will indicating that I need a commission. Since we brought him to Symposium, he's spoken at the Ministry's GAINS conference, will be speaking at Greater Essex County's Vision To Practice conference this summer, at the Windsor-Essex Catholic, St. Clair Catholic boards and now OAME. He has a powerful message and yet you walk away just knowing that you can do it and are inspired to do it.

Your title intrigues me. How many students have really exploited all that Web 2.0 offers? It seems to me that a lot of what they're doing is involving themselves with friends and communications. How many of them reach deeper and really use it to construct knowledge? If you believe Marc Prensky's thoughts about digital natives and digital immigrants, students should be leaving us in the dust. Are they? Or, is this a generality that makes us laugh at ourselves and then forces us to go about doing something about it. I'm seeing a lot of pretty interesting things created by people inspired by Will. The number one for me is a Think Literacy teacher in our board who left Symposium and started an amazing website and even registered his own domain. The author will retire in two weeks. Does this bode well for life long learning or what?

I'm currently developing a self-paced online "course" on my Wiki entitled "Eight Weeks to Web 2.0". I'm going to make it available to teachers who are looking for a pathway to using some of these components of Web 2.0.

Thanks for the post. It was very thoughtful and I really enjoy both of the videos that you've included in your post.

Ross Isenegger said...

You are quite right Doug, the title is more of a segue than a description.

I have a feeling that Will is not feeling that he needs anyone to generate work for him these days, or to reward those who do send it his way. Have you given any thought to the elements in Will's presentations that seem to make them more effective in generating action than the standard PD fare?

I think there is a real danger generally in students being good consumers of the tools but not producers of thought or criticism or art. There is a huge gap between socializing and learning. I think the point of the first video was more about connecting with students' culture in order to teach them than with a glorified view of how well they are employing technological tools to lever their learning.

I have been talking in my board about getting a group of teachers together who want to explore the Read/Write web a little each week for a sustained period. It sounds like we might be able to use your stuff as a starting point. Will you announce when it is ready on one of your blogs? Will the wiki be open for editing?


Anonymous said...

Yes, I'll announce it. And, as for being open, it will be wide open as is all of my wiki in the best spirit of collaboration.

r. r. vlorbik said...

i decided to overlook my usual
"i don't do video" attitude --
but quickly got it reaffirmed
when nothing happened for
over a minute (and i quit).

if we want literate students --
and i know *i* do -- we'd do well
to quit pretending that all these
high-tech toys can *help* us ...

thanks for your recent comment
(on my other blog);
i don't *really* get more comments
than you ... there's just been
a few more than usual lately ...