Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blogging, a forum for Healthy Debate???

I recently read Mr. C's post, Are We Having Real Conversations Using New Media? and followed his link to Philly Teacher's: Politics and Education post. Although the main post was not particularly engaging to me, Mr. Hauck from MS made a comment refuting the purpose and effectiveness of technology in the classroom.

Originally, I was enthralled by his idea that teachers integrating technology into the classroom encouraged tech addictions and furthers tech-makers' agendas. It wasn't until I continued reading the comment exchanges that his original ideas lost credibility for me. The tone of his words, the personal attacks, and the pushiness to continue the argument was all but flattering.

With that being said, it leads me to my main point. Be careful how you represent yourself online. In his response post, Mr. C expressed his wavering faith concerning online communication because it would seem that poor online etiquette is rampant. Online communication can be and is essential to expanding perspective, sharing ideas, critiquing productions, and exchanging cultural glimpses. However, all of this is only healthy and effective if we refrain from making personal attacks by maintaining professionalism and abiding by momma's philosophy, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all."

As I reviewed this, I realized that Mr. Hauck might perceive this as a personal attack on him. So the solution seems less clear than I would have thought. How do you support your point without hurting another's feelings as a result of limited textual expression? When words can be read so many ways, how can we bridge the gap between non-aggressive facial expressions and our fingertips?


  1. I think my point is that I am not sure these delayed shared statements really are conversations. I think you made an important assessment of the situation as far as online behavior goes and that was a lot of what we talked about on Twitter when the situation was unfolding.

    I think that twitter allows us to get closer to a conversation, but I am sure it is not the ideal. I suppose that is why I am committing myself to going to more conferences this year, to have real conversations.

    BTW now that you have passed your 310 class, maybe you should think about renaming your blog.

  2. I see. Thanks for the feedback. I am chomping at the bit to start teaching. I don't think it is really possible to understand the true limitations/ creative freedoms that teachers have now days until you are actually practicing. The conferences, the applications of what we explore, the reactions from the students... I can't wait to try/ fail or hopefully more often try/ succeed.

    About the conferences, what's it like? I mean, do teachers actually have the opportunity to respond (do they take advantage) or are they more lecture style? I am surprised that I haven't asked these kinds of questions before, but I honestly have two scenarios playing in my head-- a home depot style convention or a pastor preaching style. We should stream realistic conferences for students like me (similar to Sir Ken Robinson).

  3. And about the renaming of the blog. I am waiting until I can identify my own style or voice. And it gives rise to questions and helps other professionals see that I am connected to a university class. So far so good, why fix something thats not broken... you know?

  4. Sorry it took so long to get back to you. The conferences themselves are not necessarily conducive to conversations, but meeting people face to face that I know from my PLN definitely is. It is more like the conversations in the hallway not the classroom that interests all students :) If you have the opportunity to go to any conferences look for a place where people are talking away from the actual workshops. That is where the real value lies.