Despite the really positive feelings that EdBlogger left in most of us, it also left me with a feeling that there was more work left to do here than maybe it seemed. Maybe it’s natural that a gathering of that type tends to push our thinking in ways that we haven’t done in the past. As I think I’ve noted here before, while all of this asynchronous conversation is well and good, there’s no substitute to some f2f time to get people thinking. Not just me. Pat has been writing about some challenges to his thinking about Web logs. And I think at some level we’re all a bit frustrated with the glacial pace of the change we see in our schools. I know I am.
I spent a lot of the quiet moments of this holiday thinking about the state of edBlogging. My enthusiasm hasn’t waned a bit, but I am starting to see this a bit more realistically, I think. The potential here is so clear to me that sometimes I think I just take for granted that others will see it too. Not that easy, obviously. There are a number of barriers that are going to take us some time to overcome. And truth is, we may never overcome them because of the inequities in our technology infrastructure and support. I’m able to do more than most, so if it’s hard for me… But we share some issues too.
Time is the biggest problem. Teachers see this as more to do, and it’s hard to convince them otherwise. I can tell them that it will help organize their teaching lives in ways that will eventually save them time, but ultimately, to do this well, it will require an investment that many will not be willing to give.
Fear of the technology is another. What if it breaks? What if I can’t do it? What if I lose all of the work that I have done? These are legitimate questions, especially at this early stage of the game.
Lack of real proof that this in anyway improves student learning is another issue. There are some stirrings in this area, but it’s going to take quite a bit of time before anything really becomes clear.
Finally, there are the concerns with privacy and safety and appropriateness, etc. We still have some work to do to create the “perfect” tool for schools.
Maybe, as Pat says, it is time to stop pushing and to see how this all naturally evolves. But on the other hand, I feel like I need to keep on evangelizing all the great things that Web logs bring to the classroom.