Will Richardson Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts,… Today I finished Will Richardson’s book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. I have always appreciated Will’s viewpoints on his blog, and I like the straightforward, easy to understand approach he presents in his book. Having used many of these tools in my classroom for over a year now, I was familiar with much of what Will shares, but I had many “I should have tried that moments!!!” Now, I am in a new position (district level educational technology specialist) with a new audience (educators) and the book proved valuable in giving me ideas and ways that I can share these tools with teachers.

Teachers themselves will benefit from reading this book (Get it ASAP!), and I believe it would serve as an excellent textbook for in-service training and for use in teacher preparation programs. Even a seasoned Web 2.0 teacher (Can there be such a thing in such a short period of time!?! 🙂 will pick up new ideas or ways of using these tools that they hadn’t thought of before! As with any text that concerns the web the reader will encounter shared links that have since moved on in such a short time since the book was published; nevertheless, I could easily search the name of a particular person or topic mentioned and find the new location of the information on the web. (Maybe Will could add a page to his blog with updates or create a wiki page where readers could help update links.)

The book, to me, is written for the now, and it is intended to jump start educators and students into using the many Web 2.0 tools that exist today. I know Will has much more to say concerning these tools and the future of integrating technology to facilitate collaboration, critical thinking, and self-directed learning, and I feel his blog serves as a continuation and expansion of the text. One of Will’s main points in his book is to recognize the “teachers” that are and information that is out there, on the web, ready to fill your RSS feed reader! His text is really a staging area for the journey that he invites the reader to take in using these powerful web tools in the classroom, and I think it is a good place to start and to take ownership of your own learning.

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Comments
  1. Thanks for sharing! I’m interested in reading his book even though I’m not a school teacher.

  2. nhokanson says:

    You know Mike you have enlightened me this evening! As I think about Will’s book and your comment it dawned on me: this book is focused on classroom education but it applies to other aspects of life very well. As educators we often get so focused on teaching and learning in the “classroom” sense that we fail to see outside the walls of the school.

    Then, one of Will’s main points of using these tools is that they break down walls and boundaries in education. Now that you have thankfully commented here and caused me to twist my brain 😉 I would recommend this book to anyone! Parents, young people, and anyone interested in how these tools can help us in our life-long learning process!

    Will challenged his audiences in his workshops at the Building Learning Communities Conference to “find your passion and blog about it!” This also ties into one of his blog posts concerning educators focusing on their own learning. We ALL should take charge of and focus on our own learning and the tools that facilitate and enable this process are things like blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc. They are vehicles to sorting through information whether it be about fly fishing, technology, education, knitting, politics, the Cubs, or cats and dogs and connecting us to others who share similar interests and passions. These tools enable each of us to learn from each other!

    Our “conversation” or dialogue here has helped me to realize an error of my ways in “thinking” Will’s book is only for educators! Thank you for stopping by and getting me to rethink my focus. You may not have meant to have such an effect, but you did! That is what makes this blogging thing so cool! Keep in touch and I’ll feed your blog into my RSS reader tonight. Mike, thanks for stopping by and teaching me something!

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