Below is my
comment to Justin
Bathon’s latest post. Mosey on over to his absolutely excellent school law blog and let him
know what you think…
Some questions for you, Justin:
A. Why wouldn’t you expect educational
technologists to be the first group of educators to dive into the use of social
media and other digital technologies? Why wouldn’t you expect early adopters to
be early adopters and later adopters to be, well, later adopters?
What’s the difference between a ‘community’ and an ‘echo chamber?’ Do you
consider Manchester United fans or Lionel Trains enthusiasts or Trekkies to be
C. Why wouldn’t you expect entry into any new
environment to be intimidating?
D. Why wouldn’t you expect any large,
complex, self-organizing network – including the edublogosphere – to have a
classic long-tail distribution, where a few have the majority of the attention
and the many have less of the attention (although still valuable things to
A couple of other thoughts:
1. You say that "Goal #1"
of educational technology advocates [is] "the spreading of education technology
knowledge to all k-12 educators which will help students learn." That’s probably
fair, although I’d say it’s preparing kids for the 21st century (rather than the
19th). But your wording works. But then you go on about Twittering and blogging,
which are just a couple of tools in educational technologists’ arsenals. There
are numerous pathways to achieving the goal that you state and educational
technologists are taking all of them. So don’t stereotype unfairly. Yes, those
tools are popular. No, they’re neither the only path nor the end goal (and few
would tell you otherwise).
2. I don’t speak for the ed tech field. I
don’t want that burden and refuse that responsibility. I do recognize that it’s
a harsh world out there and, in the end, no one really cares about new entrants
into the blogosphere unless they add value (as perceived by others, not the new
entrant). That said, the educational blogger community is one of the most
generous, embracing, welcoming groups I have experienced. Time and time again
people volunteer their energy, expertise, and precious time to help each other.
That holds true up and down the ‘authority’ spectrum. So it’s not that we
"expect new bloggers to come to [us]." It’s just that in an attention economy we
all only have so much time – to write, to help, to read. Don’t fault people for
not having enough time to serve the world at large. This is the way the online
world works. Wishing otherwise isn’t going to change that reality (and, of
course, the physical world works the same way). And, just for the record, a
number of us try very hard to find, recognize, and highlight new voices. To be
fair you should acknowledge that too rather than claiming – without any
large-scale (or any at all?) evidence – that there are edubloggers who are
reluctant to promote others’ blogs because they’re worried that they’ll be
crowded out of the attention economy.
Methinks that you paint with too
broad a brush, my friend…