“There aren’t any teachers until there are learners, and there aren’t any learners until something is disturbed in the student’s world.”
Another thing I love about Weblogs and RSS and Bloglines and Furl and Wikis and so forth is that most of it is not even into the toddler stage of development yet, and that although there are more and more people starting to use these technologies, we’re still all of us more or less flailing away at what it all means. And that’s especially true in education. There are a lot of us that think we have some vision of what the future holds, and that think we’re moving toward something pretty interesting. But there’s a lot of healthy pushing aginst those ideas as well, and that means a lot of learning happening.
Jay Rosen, in a memorial speech he gave recently for Neil Postman, said that “There aren’t any teachers until there are learners, and there aren’t any learners until something is disturbed in the student’s world.” (BTW, I can’t wait to sit in on Jay’s session at BloggerCon.) I think that has a lot of relevance to this whole discussion about “disruptive technologies” and how they are forcing us to look differently at our pedagogy. My world has certainly been disturbed in a good way by all of this, and as I read other edbloggers who are experiencing the same type of disruption, I learn even more. It’s one of the coolest parts about this that people are willing to put those struggles on line for others to share.
Which is why I’m especially happy that Seb has cranked up his blogging again. He’s been one of my teachers about “personal webpublishing” as he likes to call it since early on, and his posts always seem to push my thinking. This one is no exception:
“…I find it really interesting how differently people construe personal Webpublishing. Some strive for visitors, others for readers, some want to broadcast, other hope for being cited, some like to distribute their comments all over the Web, other bring everything home to their own place. All this fosters my opinion that we are far too much focused on the surface similarities and that we need to engage into more ethnographic and interpretive research on personal Webpublishing and how it is construed.”
That’s what disruption does, it sends people into all different directions depending on their needs and wants. And that in itself leads to all sorts of interesting applications, kind of throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks stuff. It’s pretty messy, and there is a lot of civil disagreement on what the purposes and potentials are since the big questions have no clear answers. But you don’t have to look too far to see that there is a lot of learning in that mess. And how much more fun is that than having all the answers waiting in a manual? That is what keeps this interesting to me, that feeling of being constantly discomforted by the fact that I really have no idea what I’m doing, and that despite that fact, someone I don’t know may still be willing to read about it.
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