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 â€œsocial capitalâ€, 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.
And Happy Holidays to Each of You!