I came away realizing why media literacy programs often bother me. Frequently, the idea even is that we have to teach our children how to recognize the Internet sites that are as reliable and safe as what they’ll find in a library. That’s a useful skill, but the overall picture is wrong. If you want to know what’s going on in a field, the static and credentialed sources generally aren’t where you want to go. The credentialed sources are great for certain types of informationâ€”the solid and stolid facts, the commoditized information, the boring truthâ€”but the real intellectual action is usually occurring in the blogs, newsletters, and forums. Confining students to the credentialed sites is likely to kill their interest and enthusiasm. [Emphasis mine.]
And then, from Alex Reid:
In any case, I will say this about research and blogging. When I read scholarship I encounter ideas that I find interesting and thought-provoking. However, if I were going to think about what I teach in my courses, much of the valuable information I rely on comes from blogs, and not only from academic blogs. If I want to know what teachers in new media were doing a year ago, I guess I could read a journal. If I want to know what people are doing now, what new developments are emerging, what is working and what isn’t, I would look at blogs. Wouldn’t you? [Emphasis mine.]
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see this conversation develop more fully on the K-12 level as well? What if we stopped blocking blogs and implicitly telling students that they aren’t reliable and instead start making them a part of our daily classroom practice? What if, as Joyce Valenza‘s matrix suggests, we start teaching our students to make good decisions about the content they encounter, to be effective editors? What if we modeled for them how to engage in the ideas instead of just consuming them?