The edublogosphere is a wonderful place. It’s a place that’s grown almost exponentially since I joined it 3 years ago, making it a wonderfully diverse arena for discourse. 🙂
However, sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and lost. How do you get in touch and interact with those facing similar situations and challenges as yourself? In addition to a network, there’s a need for groups.
Enter edte.ch. As I’ve already discussed, edte.ch is to be a place for educational technology professionals and students. I’ve no financial interest in the project: I’m acting as domain name owner, facilitator, and contributor. 😀
I want it to be a grassroots community, a place for postgraduate students to find people to bounce ideas off, an arena for instructional technologists to discuss barriers and opportunities. But I need YOUR help to get this off the ground.
If you’re an educational technology professional or student, imagine the type of community to which you’d like to belong.
(optional) Get involved in a synchronous chat towards the end of the week (to be organized) about the future of edte.ch
Although I’ve obviously got my own ideas, I don’t want to be overly-prescriptive. I’m a great believer in the ability of people to organise themselves on a grassroots level. I’ve already been contacted by a great number of people who would seem to be in need of something like this. I know I am – let’s make it work! :-p
*Wondering what I mean by ‘barnraising’? It’s a predominantly Amish practice and a two-day event where the community comes together to build a barn. I first came across this in the film Witness.
OK, so I’m not really ‘Arthus Erea‘ the poster boy of the Student 2.0 ‘movement’. I considered pretenting to be though. :-p Apparently he’s going to launch a new blog as ‘a teacher’:
Here’s 3 reasons I don’t think 14 15 (whoops!) year-olds have a full part to play in the edublogosphere:
They haven’t had much life experience. In the same way that you wouldn’t appoint a newly-qualified teacher to run a school, teenagers haven’t got the experience to make fully informed comments on education. They only see one side of the picture.
The transparency that we almost demand in the edublogosphere – even the simple ‘what’s your name and where do you come from’ – cannot be provided by these youngsters due to child protection issues. The edublogosphere therefore just becomes another anonymous forum to them.
They tend to be ships without a rudder, speeding off in one direction and then another. Yes, they need interactions with more mature people to give them this ‘rudder’, but I would argue that they learn by imitation. The best place for this is offline – especially given point 2!
It’s not up to me who you follow on Twitter or whose blogs you read, but I see teenagers as having the same role in the edublogosphere as student councils do in schools. That is informing professionals.
Finally, I just find it all a bit unhealthy that we treat a 14 year-old as a fully paid-up member of adult discussions. It’s a bit like me interacting with students on Facebook, MySpace or Bebo. As a teacher, I just don’t do it.
I’d love to hear some proper justifications of why I should that aren’t platitudes or crowd-pleasing posturing… 😉
Twitter‘s great. It allows you to not only network in semi-realtime, but also to have access to a network of experts and engage in borderless conversations. Usually, these are people with which you share something major in common. In my case, almost all of my Twitter friends are educators.
That’s all well-and-good, but there’s really nothing like meeting up face-to-face to discuss things. That’s why conferences still thrive in this Web 2.0 world. To facilitate Twitter meet-ups – or ‘TweetMeets’ – I’ve set up a new website:
Why .eu? Well, the domain name was cheap… 😉 (feel free to use it worldwide!)
Head on over! I’m not allowing just anyone to edit the whole thing as I don’t want it taken over by non-educators. If you’d like a login to be able to organize TweetMeets, send me your email address via direct message on Twitter. (d dajbelshaw Hi…)
If you want to discuss TweetMeet, can I suggest that you use the global hashtag #tweetmeet please? (# is ALT-3 on UK Mac keyboards) You can then track the conversations at Twemes.com 🙂
Edit: Inugural TweetMeet planned for Saturday in August – either 2nd or 9th. Tweet @dajbelshaw with your preferences for meeting up in the Peak District, England! 😀