I had the opportunity to present a workshop and a talk at the IL-TCE (Illinois Technology Conference for Educators) this week. Will Richardson was also presenting and I was able to sit in on his talks. He presented on Wikis and had a great discussion with one group about Wikipedia and its use by students. Lots of good conversation about trusted sources of information and the need at all levels to teach students media literacy skills.
One woman was a bit confused about Wikipedia and thought it was a site that Will ran. I think people have a hard time getting the idea of what exactly Wikipedia is and who runs it. I guess I think of Wikipedia as a commons. Kind of like a park that belongs to everyone. From time to time trash is left at the park and if the commons is working properly other members of the commons will come along and see the trash and clean it up.Will made great use of Jon Udell's Heavy Metal Umlaut screencast and I could tell the audience was much more receptive to the idea of Wikipedia when they saw the amount of work and passion that went into growing and keeping clean this small part of the commons.
I also had the opportunity to meet David Jakes. He took Will and I to dinner on Wednesday night and we had a great time talking with him about his work and about some of the issues surrounding using Web 2.0 technologies in our schools. I was also able to see a bit of his session on Flickr. This conference had a great lineup of folks and lots of talk about Web 2.0 technologies and education. If you have the opportunity, you might want to look into attending next year.
Finally I also had the opportunity met David Warlick at Will's session and David also sat in on mine and was kind enough to post about the session. Though I think his mind was wandering a bit, thinking about his upcoming dinner with David Jakes and I wanted to clarify a few points in his post. :-)