I told myself I would stop my critical writing mode kick, but am not listening.
Normally I would pass on something from a “Marketing Group” where the tag line is “Internet Marketing Ideas for the Rest of Us”. My first thought (which can be wrong) is that it reeks of “get-rich-by-selling-crap-on-eBay” or “bulk-email-will-let-you-retire-in-the-Caribbean”. I have not spent much time poking around this blog, so consider it a knee jerk reaction… but actually the interviews from this site have some decent quotes, such as this one from Doc Searles:
By conceiving the Net as a place, a commons, something you go “on” rather than “through,” we can save it from draconian regulation and preserve it as an environment where speech and markets are equally free.
So if blogging isn’t a medium, what is it?
A practice. Specifically, a personal practice of journalism in the literal sense of that word. Every blog is a journal. The number of blogs, which keeps going up (now in the millions), is redefining journalism rapidly, and unavoidably.
Blogs are real voices of real people. Applied by business, they leave the marketers of the world out of a job. You can’t job out your own voice. You can’t leave it up to some department.
This was second of a three piece blog intervoew, the first with “internet marketeers” (skip, yawn, gag) and a third with some business and PR type consultants.
Okay, so what was my point? Most of these “expert” comments suggest platitudes about how anyone with a blog has a voice, breaking down traditional power structures, rah rah rah for the little guy or gal. But to understand this, do we go out and find out what they think is the future of blogging? why it is important? Dp we find out what motivates teen diaries, obscure movie fan blogs, obscure software developers from Burma, etc? No, we fall back into the same rut, and try and find out what “experts” say. Then we echo blog it across the net.
I am not saying what the experts have to say is important, but more so that we are missing the voices of the majority of the blog space, all those of us way out on the right fringes of the Technorati curves, those with small/no readership/ I just as or more interested in what motivates them. This is what Stephen did so well to highlight “obscure” educational bloggers in his June 20 Special OLDailey.
Okay, but what is my next leap?
This is all to common but never labeled teacher centric view of learning. I was reading a draft of a new, comprehensive paper on some future technology predictions, and it was based completely on interviews/surveys with teachers. It was very interesting, thorough, but I found myself thinking- this is what the teachers think is important, but what about the students?
And it filtered then into some reflections on readings about “hybrid” or “blended” courses. It occurred that the decision, the design to create these were completely teacher/institution initiated based on… what? It seems that learners have no influence, input, on the creation of blended learning, that it is all presented to them like a buffet lunch with 1 item to choose from.
I am just trying to advocate that we think broadly in terms of audience and participation in what we do. We need experts, we need great teachers, but they do not speak or represent the entire enchilada.