Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Only Connect

"Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only
Edward M. Forster

In his blog today, Will Richardson admitted that he rarely reads his aggregator any more, is considering giving up blogging in favor of Skyping, and wonders at the new direction personal PD seems to be taking.

All of this bothered me on several levels:
  • my Reader feeds are my first, best, venue for PD, alerting me to new technologies and best practices in the classroom
  • blogging helps me to focus my thoughts, explore new concepts, and creatively express myself
  • by reading and commenting on other blogs, I form connections and interact with colleagues around the world
  • recognized educational leaders and authors are accessible via blogs
  • Skype and Twitter are not well suited to my own learning style, which tends to be more reflective than reactive
Non-stop traveling and an exhausting lecture schedule has probably taken its toll. With a core group of stimulating and supportive friends, Mr. Richardson must feel no lack of connection.

Those of us on the fringe, newcomers to 2.0 and beyond, appreciate the chance to interact with key players in educational technology and the new literacies. Post once a week or once a month, if you must. But please don't leave us behind.

"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as courses, and they come back to us as effects."- Herman Melville

Photo from Sketchzilla


Cathy Nelson said...

WOW. You said it so much better than I! My sentiments exactly! I feel like such a beginner at this all the time too, until I talk with those of you in my network who know, speak, and understand the 2.0 vocabulary. I crave it daily, and to discover that one of my favorites, one who almost single handedly introduced it to me, has decided to abandon it, well, OY! Thanks for commenting over on TechnoTuesday, and I appreciate the compliment--but know that I consider myself nothing more than a beginner too.

Sue Waters said...

Hi Diane

I have had this exact chat with other people. Some are feeling that with the instant connectivity of twitter there is nothing new they can say on their blog or that if they do blog they have to write longer more thought provoking posts. And I told them off because they need to stop assuming that everyone is in twitter and people should continue to blog for all the reasons you mention.

While I absolutely love twitter and there are so many great tools available I think it is a shame if people stop spreading the message to a larger audience because of all these other tools.


diane said...

Cathy and Sue,

Give me a quiet room, plenty of time, and logical directions, and I can figure out almost anything.

It took me years to figure out my personal learning style. That doesn't mean that I don't try new things, just that I have to assess them carefully to see if they'll work for me.

Now that I understand the joy of blogging, I'm not about to give it up for rapid-fire conversations that I can't follow or absorb.

Twitter is cool, and I check in periodically, but it will never replace the power of the "written" word for me.

Maybe I'm a plodding elephant to all the darting, dancing dragonflies, but when I've passed through the landscape, you'll know it!

dancingkaren said...

I am taking an on-line graduate course and Will Richardson's book is one of our texts. I'm very excited about the many read/write web tools he describes. As I am blogging away about RSS (to fullfill a course assignment) and writing that I've shared this tool with my school principal, librarian, head of guidance for the district, colleagues, boyfriend, best friend, brother and students...Richardson is blogging that he's got a list of reasons for not using it. Go figure.

diane said...


I'm puzzled too. Take a break, if you must, but abandon blogging?!!

I believe that there's a certain responsibility, if you've written and lectured about these tools, not to "abandon" your newly-converted followers.

It's great that the leaders in the ed-tech sector are experimenting with new technologies, but I hope that they will keep in contact with the rest of us. I don't like feeling excluded!