More Ranting about Information…

I just spent about fifteen minutes, at the airport, writing a comment, only to be asked for a Captcha word where not Captcha word was given.  Because of the time I spent writing it, I’ll just dump it here.  The blog is Unknown Future, but I do not know the name of the author, nor the e-mail address.  In I’ve Been Critical Thinking…, the author wrote,

The more I read the more I realize that blogging isn’t just about writing but it’s also about reading.

Sky rockets and star bursts.

I remember when Will Richardson wrote just about this very same thing, and I’ve referred to that blog many times.  He said that blogging is not about writing alone. It’s about reading and writing, and reading and writing, and more reading and writing.  There’s also a lot of thinking in there. Hey! It’s about literacy.

The kids don’t call it Web 2.0. They don’t even call it blogging or even social networks. But they’re doing it. It’s about conversation, and it’s about an entirely different information landscape — which demands a different notion of literacy. The problem is that we have to label it to teach it, so that teachers realize that it’s different. But it isn’t technology that’s different. It’s the information that’s changed.

Thanks, whoever, for continuing the conversation!

7 thoughts on “More Ranting about Information…”

  1. David, here’s an example that’s easy for teachers to integrate, right now: – and a couple of earlier posts linked from there.

    It doesn’t have to be hard. We just need to be willing to take a big step or two back from current practices, and step forward, thinking web 2.0 (but not tell the kids). – Mark

  2. It’s not about a name. It’s about letting ideas out. So much of the traditional classroom forces the teacher to follow a planned lesson/script. This forces the teacher to keep his/her ideas to themself. It also makes it all but impossible for a student to go somewhere with a line of thought that may deviate from the script. Face it, for the most part we do not give teenagers the sense that we value their ideas, and so they shut down in school most of the time. Teachers also feel that they are really only there to deliver curriculum and give grades. Blogs allow us time outside the normal school situation for classes to run with ideas and be valued.
    When I was 18 I had the good fortune of being away from my girlfriend (400 miles). This meant that we chose to write every day to each other. The three day delay from what I sent to when it was read and the further three days to get a response were actually fabulous because I could control a conversation in part, and then I had to defer to see what she was saying in response. I wouldn’t kill for those letter back, but I would maim for them because they contain many of the most profound ideas I have ever had about philosophy, religion, literature and life. It would be awesome to see the me of qlmost 30 years ago.
    Blogging is even better. A person can hold the floor for however long they need to let out an idea, and then they have to give up that floor to others to react as fully as they would like to that idea. Giving up that forum is humbling and scary and the best kind of learning one can have.
    I cannot wait for the school year to begin because I am finally ready to proceed with a blog, and I want my community to share it. I am nervous about the school year starting because as school principal, I need to convince my faculty that this is worth doing for them as well. Can they take the leap of faith with me, or will they try to stay with business as usual?

  3. I know that YOU know it is about the reading as much as the writing, but for some of us newbies, it has taken a little longer. I wrote a few blog entries and thought I was blogging. Then I started reading and commenting…woohoo. Yesterday I wrote my first blog entry after reading and reflecting on another’s blog. It took me a bit, but the process was worth it.

    It is true that kids don’t call what they do Web 2.0. But they do have conversations on the web. I wish my students would be a little more cautious about what they put out there. It is a conversation we will be having.

  4. I heard Dr. Jennifer James speak at our all district convocation. She is a cultural anthropologist and she gave s presentation called “Teaching in the Future Tense”, focusing on change,future and cultural intelligence.

    One of the things she said really struck home with me–while speaking of technology in schools she said “…when the peasants learn to read, the king looks stupid”.

    Yikes, I hope teachers realize the magnitude of the change that is coming. I’ll be retired, but the young guys have their work cut out for them. N.

  5. Nancy what a great quote to spring me into action! I am going to post that in a spot that I will see each day!

    “…when the peasants learn to read, the king looks stupid.”


  6. The kids don’t call it Web 2.0. They don’t even call it blogging or even social networks. But they’re doing it. It’s about conversation, and it’s about an entirely different information landscape — which demands a different notion of literacy.

    Every generation devises a new way for “kids” to “socialize.” In the 20th Century this grew to include more and more technology. In the 1950s, the kids socialize among automobiles at the local “car hop” (or so I am told, he he). By the 1960s telephones became increasingly important for kid socialization. I remember my friend’s sister got her own phone (and phone line) for her 16th birthday – very cool. Through the last 40 years, as new technologies came along they inevitably became integrated with kids socializing (see video games, CB radio, and the early computers, etc.). So, blogging, social networking and all of its iterations are just an extension of that. What’s different is the speed at which the technologies change and the gap between their use and those of the previous generations.

    I have colleagues who say repeatedly, “I don’t use that technology stuff, just call me on my cell phone.”

    I’m kinda looking forward to the next iteration.

    Oh, any BTW, kids still do the same stupid stuff we did when we were that age. Watch any YouTube video by a kid and it will all look familiar. Damn, if they only had YT when I was that age!!

  7. I don’t have my own class but have been lucky enough to borrow eight kids to get into blogging on a small scale. I’ve introduced them to blogs by kids around the world and while they have enjoyed reading the blogs it is the responding to the posts and beginning a correspondence with the kids that is keeping them truly motivated. This after a few weeks, we are ready to start our own blogs.
    So yes, David, it is about the reading and writing and most importantly about the conversations and connections. They love the near-immediacy of the replies and that they can go back.
    As the teacher inside, I have seen them think about what has been written and ask questions that reflect their own personalities and interests. Their writing has improved…adding more “juicy” language without the prompting from teacher….I’m loving it!!

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