Echo chamber redux
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
Below is my
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...
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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