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?