As Chris Sessums so ably summarizes, he and Steve Hargadon and I had a pretty amazing discussion at the FETC blogger meetup last night which was attended by about 10 people or so at some time or another. I won’t even begin to try to articulate the details…suffice to say it was, as Chris says, “seriously heady and perplexing.” The bottom line is that we all seemed to feel that there is a moment at hand that requires the consideration (if not the action) of this community. That it may be time to make a statement in some more formal way about the potential of Read/Write Web tools to transform education. That we attempt to find a way to begin these conversations on a national level, perhaps through political action. As Chris wrote:
We need to tap into the collective social capital of edubloggers and the overall blogging community to articulate this issue clearly so that it becomes a manifest political priority.
On various levels, we’ve been moving toward this already, I think. But we’ve been aiming primarily at a small audience. Now, with 20 months or so to another crucially important election, might it be time to gather our collective capital and see how we can spend it in a more far-reaching way?
To me, there are three questions. First, what, exactly, does this community as a whole believe about these changes and these tools and their impact on teaching and learning? Second, how do we cogently communicate that belief in a way that educates and moves others to action? Is it to create “An Inconvenient Truth” of our own, perhaps? (I’m serious.) Something that contextualizes and makes plain the complexity and the urgency of the moment? And finally, who are the various decision makers, candidates, business people and others who need to hear this message to most effectively move it forward? (Anyone know anyone in any of the nascent presidential campaign machines?)
It’s clear, to me at least, that bloggers are having a substantial impact in politics and business and journalism. It feels like, at least to me, that the gains they have made in moving those traditional structures have been far greater than what’s happened in the education sphere. I may be wrong. But I’ve wondered why those A-List bloggers haven’t lit on the implications for traditional education with more fire. Surely, their own learning has been transformed. Surely, the power of the networks they have built have transformed the way they themselves learn. Might they be amenable to assisting in this cause?
The feeling of the three of us what that this might be something we think about as a focus for the edubloggercon we’ve started planning for June. This feels pretty huge, and it might be a whole bunch of pipe-dreaming. But I wonder…
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