There is no doubt that blogging has become a profession for some. For most of us, it’s a hobby, sideline, by-product, or just one essential aspect of what we do as educators. But, for some, it’s their job and their principal source of income. I suspect that this has not been so clear to me as this morning, when Brenda showed me this article in the News & Observer, our capital news paper — Bloggers Debate Forming their Own Labor Union. In the opening paragraph…
In a move that might make some people scratch their heads, some loosely affiliated left-leaning bloggers are trying to band together to form a labor union they hope will help them receive health insurance, conduct collective bargaining or even set professional standards. (Heher A3)
We, edubloggers, do not see blogging as our profession, but merely another avenue for communicating — something that is almost exclusively our job. I guess what resonated with me, when I read through this article, is the growing access that we all have to opportunities for expressing ourselves, and even opportunities to generate income in the process. It isn’t just writing, but photography, art, video, music, animation, etc. Self-expression as a lifestyle, or even as a line of work, no longer depends on geography, who you know, or even being the most talented at your craft.
So how does this change what and how we teach? Does it?
Rather than copping out with a “What do you think?” — I’ll just go ahead and answer this one.
In most classrooms, we have done an excellent job, for many years, in teaching our children to be good consumers of content — good readers and learners. I believe that we must now become just as successful in teaching our children to become good and responsible producers of content, writers, artists, composers, etc. — good communicators. In the information age, it is information with which we will work, to fashion content products that have value, that entertains and teaches.
Rather than just making students information consumers, make them information artisans.
Heher, Ashley M.. Left-leaning bloggers debate forming their own labor union.” News & Observer [Raleigh]6 Aug 2007: A3.