Is Will asking the right questions?

Will
Richardson voiced his frustration in a recent post
about the trouble that
he’s having getting teachers to focus on the potential of Web 2.0 tools to
enhance their own personal learning.

Part of me wonders if he’s asking the right questions. It’s hard to tell what
Will is saying to the teachers. If he’s trying to get at their own personal
learning practices, it seems to me that the first questions may need to be

  • What are your personal and professional
    interests?
  • What are you passionate about? What do you care about?
  • How do you currently learn and grow in those
    areas?

All teachers are learners because all humans are learners (okay, 99.99% of
humans are learners; we all know a few oddballs). If Will can find out how these
educators acquire and gain new knowledge that is of personal and/or professional
interest to them (particularly outside of school for their hobbies, music,
athletics, and other outside interests), it seems to me there then exists a
natural opening to discuss how various Web 2.0 tools can connect these folks to
various communities and content of interest.

Will, perhaps you’re doing all this already. For example, maybe you’re
contextually embedding your participants’ learning by selecting one or more
individuals, asking them what their interests are and how they learn and grow in
those areas, and then illustrating in front of the rest of the audience how to
expand those circles of knowledge and knowing using these new tools (look, here
are 56 blogs about
pomeranians
! 204 blogs
about orchids
! a wiki
devoted to knitting
!).

I don’t know what your strategies have been, Will; this is just what I’d do. But
I’d love to learn more (hint, hint)!

4 Responses to “Is Will asking the right questions?”

  1. If I’ve had a single epiphany since starting this whole blogging thing, it’s exactly what you’re stating there. My mantra has changed from, “Hey – check out this cool tool!” to, “Hey – what is it YOU’RE interested in and how can we make that transfer to students.”

  2. Hey Scott. I was a learner in a 3 day Will Richardson workshop one year ago. These are the questions he asked us and it’s his training that ignited my passion and interest for blogging. I remember struggling with this because my job is my passion. I thought, cripe I’m boring, I have no deep interests! My friend was totally into baseball and created his blog from that point of view. And you and Will are both right, it’s been all about my own learning ever since.

  3. I second Kimberly in that Will also inspired me to start blogging. After listen to him at the MICCA conference this year I began reading his blog, which eventually led to me reading other blogs.

    After reading his post you refer to and the plethra of comments that followed I decided to go a step further and start my own blog.

    So for me, he did ask the right questions and challenged me to focus on my own learning. I believe this will make me a better educator.

  4. Scott,

    These are great questions to begin any workshop on Web 2.0 tools with, so great, I am going to use them tomorrow in a 3-hour RSS workshop I’ll be sharing with about 20 teachers.

    Brian Grenier
    http://bumpontheblog.etowns.net

Leave a Reply