So it seems the “why” conversation is spreading. I wish I’d seen Nancy McKeand’s post earlier, but as has been the case of late, I’m way behind on my reading and feeling the familiar nose above water feeling. She’s doing a workshop today and asked readers of her blog to chime in with why we use blogs in our classrooms. The answers (11 at this moment) make me feel pretty positive of where we’re at with this. They’re all about conversations and connections, about thinking and learning. And I was struck by how much of what the commenters highlighted was about reading which, as I’ve said many times before, is where blogging must start. That has me especially optimistic.
I’m getting the sense that we are, at last, at a turning point. David Warlick is talking about telling new stories. This morning, I must have spent an hour just wading through a whole bunch of edublogs that I never knew existed, and they all linked to others which linked to others. (BTW, there are a bunch of Australian edublogs that absolutely blew my mind…here’s a thread from just one of them.) In my presentations, people know what blogs are, and what they are really seeking now is pedagogy, not training. It feels like, finally, this is no longer a technology as it is another way to connect and communicate. It’s feeling like in some places, at least, blog thinking is becoming embedded.
Now I know there is still a great deal of blog angst out there. All that MySpace stuff. All the just a new way of doing old stuff, stuff. Heck, I have to admit that when I read that Dave Winer, who is about as close to Adam in the blog world as you’ll find, has given notice that he will soon give up blogging, I was a bit taken aback. Could I give up blogging? Could I just walk away, cold turkey? (This is, after all, some sort of addiction, let’s face it.) I’ve become so intertwined in this space that it’s hard to imagine. And to be clear, even though I have been fortunate to build a comparatively sizeable audience for my ideas through the blog, I still feel like this is my space (two words) to do my thinking and supposing and, ultimately, learning. This process of reading, thinking, writing is how I learn. Sometimes it’s reading, talking, thinking, writing, but it’s almost always learning. I can’t see that stopping at this point.
So maybe it is time to reinvent this conversation. Maybe we’re moving out of the how to and into the why. And when we get down that road a stretch, we’ll get back to the how again, only this time with an eye on best practice teaching and learning. Then it should get really, really fun.