I enjoy reading Will Richardson’s blog Weblogg-Ed because it is always insightful and relevant. Will’s rant this past weekend on “URGENT: 21st Century Skills for Educators (and Others) First” obviously hit some buttons in the blogosphere. Posted March 9th, it now has 96 comments (to date) and growing. The preponderance of comments back Will’s view that faculty and administrators need to use and model the use of Web 2.0 processes before one can expect students to use these processes. There are however some insightful counterviews by some practiced educators.
Downloading the original post and nearly a hundred comments fills over 30 pages of text. To pull themes out of this mass, I turned to ManyEyes to construct a wordcloud. This shows you the frequency in which specific words were used:
The critical words appeared to be teachers, teaching, technology, and learning – as one would expect. Other words that showed high usage were change, education, feel, great, ideas, kids, network, people, read, students, tools, understand, urgency, and world.
What strikes me as I examine this wordcloud is the tension between the technology side and the people side. From my own journey into Web 2.0, I know that it takes internalization and personal investment to begin using these tools. One of the take-aways from the commenting (and frustrations) illustrated in Will’s blog is that those of us in the first wave must assist those that follow to gain a personal appreciation of the power embodied in Web 2.0.