In a recent podcast, Steve Dembo predicted that in a couple of years just about every school would have at least one student blogging away on his own time and space about what was going on at the school. Steve said it was something schools should get prepared for, and I agree. Especially now that parents and teachers are doing it too. Couple these examples with the student journalists in Georgia and it’s not hard to see the next meme getting started. Not to say that the old meme has stopped. But I’ve stopped, for now at least, trying to crusade for a separation of the genres, journal and blog. Not going to win that fight, I think.
Still, with all the good stuff happening these days in edu-blog land, you’d think there’d be room for another new meme in there somewhere…
David Warlick says
One of the foundations of The Cluetrain Manifesto (a book about business and the Internet <http://www.cluetrain.com/>), that I think was most relevant to schools, was their position that people will network. They are already networking on the curbs outside our schools among parents who are waiting to pick up their children, and they may know more about what’s going on in your school than you do.
What benefits schools, teaching, and learning? Trying to control the network, or facilitating it?
Two cents worth!
— dave —
Bill Kempthorne says
Gee, Will, David and Steve(in name only) on the same blog post, I feel humbled. 😉
On David’s Point of ‘people will network’ and the use or control of blogs in school (the Speaking Underground example) schools are not in a position to control this. As a teacher and now a IT manager I constantly get requests to block, delete, or foil student access to sites like “Rate My Teacher”. Steve was right in his podcast, it is like trying to ignore other social issues.
A recent survey we conducted showed <20% of our students regularly use the technology provided in schools but >80% had access at home. I most cases the capability at home exceeds that provided by the school.
Bud Hunt says
The attempt to at least get students and teachers to think about blog the form versus blogging the skill (and where journals fit in) is a fight worth fighting, even if it’s a losing one. That argument is one that I think makes blogging software and websites useful in the classroom. Those arguments about subtle (or big) differences in technology are vital.
As school districts get more aggressive with their filtering software, we’re going to need solid arguments for what gets to pass through the filter and what gets left at the door. I’m willing, reluctantly, to leave MySpaces at the gate — but not Blogger.
Today in my local paper, the news was my school district’s block of Ratemyteachers.com. What’s next?
John Pederson says
Meanwhile, in another corner of the blogosphere, I launched a Moodle site yesterday in an attempt to gather folks for an online “book study” of “The Cluetrain Manifesto” and how it relates to education. It seems that every conversation we are having of late ties back to Cluetrain…it will make you shudder to let your mind wander to the educational implications of what we are doing (and not doing).
I’m looking for people to come play. It’s open to everybody. It’s time that we organize as a group and bring the “conversation” a bit deeper. Socially constructed online learning.
Sorry for the “advertisement” of sorts. I feel deeply compelled to put something out there to organize the community around bringing the conversation to a deeper level.