View the EDTECH Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in EDTECH's April 2010 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in EDTECH's April 2010 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the EDTECH home page.
Christian: I certainly welcome alternative viewpoints. However, I do take issue with some approaches to the argument. My initial reaction to your posting is that you need to spend just a bit more time talking about the tools, and a little less time trying to characterize the motives and personalities of those advancing conflicting ideas. The latter almost never gets to the heart of the discussion -- it serves to inflame without actually serving to inform. But the most important point you miss is the difference between "place" (Twitter) and "tool" (social networking tools, in this case, micro-blogging). You will get no argument from me (or from Randy, would be my guess), that social networking tools are VERY useful to education. This is not an argument between Twitter and the face-to-face classroom. I'm on your side of that discussion. But Twitter, being a "place," has characteristics beyond its presence in the categories of "21st Century Tools," or "Social Networking Platforms," or "Online Interaction," or "Web 2.0." There are lots of tools in all of these categories which aren't "places." My question to you is...how much do you know about Moodle? ...about Mahara? ...about ELGG? ...about Drupal/Joomla/SharePoint/Umbraco/Wordpress? All of these platforms support various levels of social networking, even micro-blogging. But they're not "places," they're platforms. That means students can benefit from their use, and you don't have to address any of the "place" problems that Twitter has. They are software which allow you to support social networking right within your own school or district. They aren't being hosted by a commercial entity who isn't really interested in your educational goals, age groups, or safety issues. They're hosted by you. Of course, even though every one of the above are free software, they do require setup and maintenance. But our district's Moodle install (with Mahara plug-in) is supported by STUDENTS. It isn't really that tough. The results is a platform which has very close to all of the benefits of many of the categories I mentioned above, but with absolutely none of the security and commercial/cross-purpose problems of open-Internet tools. Since Twitter, Facebook, and their ilk are "places," they do have the advantage of popularity -- students are already there. But interestingly, that fact makes them, as "places," less exciting from an educational perspective. After all, since the history of educational technology (as you imply) is one of avoidance, students have learned how to behave in these environments quite without the guidance of adults. On a conceptual level, that's interesting (maybe that's what you mean by "Twitter is a school"), but the wretched excesses make it unlikely that these "places" will ever be serious educational tools. There's too much garbage there. But, again, that doesn't mean we have to give up on SOCIAL NETWORKING. We just have to give up on the idea that free, commercially-driven, open-Internet, current-fad-driven tools can be depended upon to deliver them. But we lose almost nothing but a little sweat equity using free, locally-supported tools instead. Again, you've made some substantial mistakes in characterizing the "skeptics" in this discussion. To make your argument, you need to explain how Twitter, in an educational setting and pursuing student learning goals, is enough of an improvement over free or older existing tools to overcome its problems, and demand our attention. Using popular tools to leverage student motivation isn't a good enough argument for me, since kids will pursue tools of interest to them, not you. That's one of many reasons why I feel that Twitter, specifically, will not have much of a shelf life. Convince me that I'm wrong. Jeff Jeffrey L. Jones, District Technology Resource Teacher Coordinator, Virtual Classrooms and Communications, Fayette County Schools Fayette's iSchool - http://ischool.fcps.net/ The Point, a Fayette County Blogspot - https://edtech.fcps.net/blog/ Fayette Co. Intranet on SharePoint: http://sharepoint.fcps.net 701 East Main Street Lexington, KY 40502 (859)381-4124 email@example.com On Fri, 23 Apr 2010, Christian Rogers wrote: > It is refreshing to see such rampant, unbridled skepticism. Twitter is > simply a communication service which has amazing aggregative potential. > It's a shame that members of this forum are so afraid of it, and through > their fear, spend an undo amount of criticizing it. What they are really > criticizing it their inability to understand the educational potential of a > communicative tool that escapes their antiquated perception of the process > of education. They probably still think that teachers need to stand in > front of the rooms and lecture to reach our Millenials. If we are to > attempt to be 21st century educators, we must stop criticizing the new and > begin embracing it. Regardless of your fear our children use Twitter to > share their virtual experiences with each other, and they learn many things > through its use. I can guarantee you that students learn and retain more > from the information they exchange on Twitter than they ever did in a > classroom, content notwithstanding. Twitter is here to stay, and resistance > is futile. The sooner members of this "progressive" forum accept this the > less we'll be seeing conservative, absolutist statements like; "Twitter has > *no* use in schools." Twitter is a school. --- Edtech Archives, posting guidelines and other information are at: http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~edweb Please include your name, email address, and school or professional affiliation in each posting. To unsubscribe send the following command to: LISTSERV@H-NET.MSU.EDU SIGNOFF EDTECH