Grades by Technorati?

I got wind of this through an e-mail from Jeff Whipple and then his blog, which I think speaks better than I could right now.  Jeff writes…

Some edubloggers have been discussing the idea of “social capital”, the premise that the connections you bring to an organization through digital networking can be of significant vale. For instance, would someone like Jeff Utecht, Clay Burell or Karl Fisch, all well-known edubloggers, be of more value to a school just because of the connections they have developed with others?

Now comes word that maybe the social capital or digital fame can be worth marks. Maybe the difference between an A+ and a C can be measured by Technorati? One educator seems to think so.

Read more about Jeff’s take on the Time/CNN article, Googling for Your Grade, from Whip Blog.  It reminds me of a blog post that I wrote back in February, School 2.0 Currency, where I compared the instructional value of asking students to “earn attention” as opposed to asking them to “pay attention”.

Whipple, while recognizing the worth of personal network building, questions the means that some students applied, near the end of the semester, to rack up their “famo” index.  I would agree that these tactics are a matter of concern, though this occurance is consistent with what I hear again and again from teachers of blogging classrooms.  “We’re having, in my classroom, conversations I’ve never seen before in my ## years of teaching.”  They are opportunities for tackling issues, and, in this case, exploring the differences between a big network and a valuable network.

Thanks, Jeff!

And Happy Holidays to Each of You!

4 thoughts on “Grades by Technorati?”

  1. It’s all about exploring the boundaries, determining the value of a technorati, tweeterboard, flickr stats and so on. While none of these are perfect measures, they do provide data and insight to value to some degree. These tools are becoming more refined and in addition the importance of transparency is helping to weed out intention and true value. Watch for these tools to become much better and meaningful.

  2. This is similar to some crazy thinking that came up when I was brainstorming assessment with some colleagues. If one takes Connectivism seriously then there is something significant (and completely undefined) to the idea of evaluating a student’s network– the diversity, density, reach, etc…

  3. I suppose one would have to be careful about limits on available “attention”. If there is a maximum available audience of 100 people on the web who would possibly participate, and 30 students need to get ten of those people’s “attention” to get an ‘A’…it can sort of become a bell curve situation. Not good or bad, I really like the idea and think it’s fascinating to think about

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