BSoA Interview: Will Richardson

In 2006-2007 I participated in a Karlstad University course focusing on web publishing in schools. It was a great experience and extremely motivating for me – not least because Dan Åkerlund, the guy responsible for the course, had chosen Will Richardson‘s book ‘Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts..’ for us students to read and work on. That book really fired me up and, ever since, I’ve been trying to keep track of Will The Globetrotter on the web.

Getting a chance to chat with Will – a one-on-one, no hurry, no preset exact agenda – was definitely something extraordinary. It turned out, among other things, that Will Richardson is a ‘good Swede’! Sure, I knew Will had a strong connection to Sweden but it was a very pleasant surprise to me that he still speaks decent Swedish!

Among all the interesting things Will said in the interview there are especially two that resonate greatly with me.  The first one came up when we got into ’21st century skills’ – the four ‘c’s (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity) and Will stated right away: ‘they are not 21st century skills, not even 20th or even 19th century skills. The 21st century skills are linked to connections and computing‘ (go to 30:00 in the video).

The other one is, of course, his classical and slightly(!) provocative statement at a conference a couple of years ago:

I want my children to be found by strangers on the Internet

Stranger does not necessary always equal danger – providing the children get the chance to learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff, that is. The way I see it, this is one of the really important challenges for schools.

In case you are interested in finding out more about Will’s views on schools and education in general: check out Will’s latest writing in ‘Why School‘? Excellent stuff!

Audio-only version of the BeSmartOnAir Interview is available here.

About niiloa

Language teacher, EdTech coach, GSuite superadmin, YouTuber, podcaster, advocate for international school collaboration
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