Just read Will Richardson’s post, De-Echoing My Reading Practice…Help Wanted. As usual, he discusses some good points, most notably that great “conversation” in the realm of educational technology has stalled. He is looking outside the usual network, deleting all of his edublog feeds to try and get new ideas that can further the collective thinking of educational technologists and teachers.
I understand his perception – I love exploring new ideas, but like I mentioned in a previous post, some still don’t know about the conversation or are still trying to wrap their brains around it. I hate to say it (I hope the buzz word gods don’t strike me down), but we are in the midst of a paradigm shift. While we can’t stop looking forward, let’s not forget to help those still contemplating its importance, use, or even existence.
In August, this blog will celebrate five years of sporadic existence. The echo chamber back then was more like a small box. What we have experienced is a growth so large that the central “conversation” has been diluted. We have reached a scalability issue that promises to be a part of the conversation for years to come. There are now over 250 Google Certified Teachers. During NECC there are hundreds of people live blogging,Twittering, etc. all of the sessions. If we all try and participate in the same discussion, most of us won’t be able to get a word in or at least we will be repeating each other. Thus, creating that echo chamber. I see that vast chamber actually as a sign of the success of this movement because it means more people are participating. Sure there might be 30 people blogging about using Google Docs with their students – but that means those who exploring the potential uses of Google Docs with their students can see multiple examples from people with varied backgrounds.
We need to keeping looking for ways to increase participation. We have come so far, but this grassroots movement has only just begun.
One thought on “The conversation is stale, for some”
The online conversation mirrors life, we’re all at different stages. That initial steep learning curve flattens,we become selective and then to maintain our learning we again broaden our search, preferably outside our traditional silos. I don’t see this conversation cycle as mutually exclusive just evolutionary.
But mindfulness is called for on three fronts. Maintaining current PLN relationships,assisting and welcoming recent arrivals and actively searching beyond for inspiration. The danger of becoming ‘stale in the chamber’ is real so disparate or opposing voices is refreshing and needed. Enjoyed the post.