John Pederson is Director of Communications with an outfit named WiscNet in Madison, Wisconsin. His personal and professional work focuses on organizing community online among folks passionate about learning with emerging technologies. Since 2002 he has been immersed in understanding the new shape of knowledge and how we all learn online. John dedicates himself to helping teachers use technology to connect ideas and learners in authentic ways to answer questions, share ideas, and develop community. Learning can be fun and personal. That said, this weblog contains musings, sometimes “on topic”, often not. While there may be references to his work and content which relates directly to his work, the ideas are his alone and are not necessarily shared by my employer.
John failed his quest of being a high school social studies teacher a year before even entering the classroom. When given the task of designing and teaching his first lesson in Social Studies Methods as an undergraduate, he introduced 30 pre-service teachers to something called the World Wide Web. Rather than teaching about the Bill of Rights, he introduced folks to the Internet in 1995. Here was a place where aspiring teachers could go to find endless resources about the Bill of Rights for use in the classroom. John received a D- and a red-penned comment, “Off topic. You taught us about computers, not the Bill of Rights.” And so it began.
The Internet enables new ways in which people can participate in community. Leveraging that potential for schools and libraries is critical in order for them to remain relevant.
In 1996, straight out of college, John began his career as a Technology Coordinator for the Moose Lake Community School district in Moose Lake, MN. After learning the ropes in a small, rural K12 school of 800 he later became the Director of Information Technology for the School District of Superior in Superior, WI. His passion for learning and K12 education drew him towards educational technology professional development in 2006 where he worked many teachers in the CESA #3 region and later moved to Madison to work across the entire state with WiscNet. His current position as Director of Communications involves connecting people to networks technically, but more importantly working to build the “people networks” around the technology. The Internet enables new ways in which people can participate in community. Leveraging that potential for schools and libraries is critical in order for them to remain relevant.