What if instead of using social spaces to simply share content, we made a New Year’s Resolution to engage in more conversations with one another? What if we made a commitment to ask more provocative questions or to play the Devil’s Advocate more often?
I find it a difficult conversation to flip from talking about the constructive use of technology to being more critical. I feel that the first challenge is being informed, while the next step is to develop better habits.
In regards to your balanced approach you maybe interested in Ian Guest’s work exploring Twitter to support professional development. It provides some novel insights and questions.
Knowing that you don’t read my blog, in am intrigued what your collection of ideas looks like in a world without social media? Maybe that is a good place to start?
I’m grateful for the advent of the web and social media by providing me with a voice. I’ve been able to publish many ideas over that last 12 years that previously would have only lived in my head. Through that publishing, I’ve been able to think through some things and had the benefit of others to add their thoughts as well. However, as much as this has democratized knowledge, it has also diluted the importance of expertise. The barriers of the previous publishing world lacked the ability to include all voices but it did help identify expertise. As adults and educators, I think we have to work harder to identify the smart people and allow their ideas to be heard over the din of social media. Expertise is not found in followers but on the quality and evidence of ideas that have proven the test of time.
Dean Shareski reflects on the place of voice in education. Whether it be students in the classroom or educators online, he argues that there are times when some voices are more important than others. This continues the argument that Thomas Guskey recently made about merely searching the web. I wonder where this leaves participatory culture, comments and blogging? Is it a reminder that such acts are first and fore-mostly selfish?
Schools have not traditionally been asked to care for student’s health beyond a mandatory few classes. This isn’t as exciting as helping kids become entrepreneurs, creating an app, getting a scholarship or even just helping them graduate. Talking about the power and potential of technology is exciting and very palatable. I should know, I’ve done this and continue to get invited to share messages that promote technology as a powerful tool for learning. I’m not going to stop but I have and will continue to embed hard truths and realities about focusing on what really matters.
There is something uncanny about reading historical texts. I recently read a critique of MOOCs, only to then discover that it was five years old.
In your reflections I was taken by your current stance to:
- Talk less.
- Question everything.
- Utilize the right spaces for the right purposes.
This is similar to my own recent reflection to:
- Critically Reflect and Ask Questions
- Learn from and through others
- Engage in new challenges.
Social spaces have changed. They are not what they once were. However, it is disconcerting when we were warned so long ago.
I am off to find a copy of Amusing Ourselves to Death and dig into the past a little bit more.