"Like a poem poorly written
We are verses out of rhythm,
Couplets out of rhyme,
In syncopated time
Lost in the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs,
Are the borders of our lives."
Simon & Garfunkel, The Dangling Conversation
Just as I'm starting to feel comfortable in my new identity as a blogger, there are ominous rumblings about the "death of blogging".
Ryan Bretag is not so much condemning blogs as questioning their validity as "participatory media tools". He describes his own frustration at failing to to "add much in terms of value-added through analysis or reflective thought that adds to our collaborative efforts to learn and improve education." Troubled by a lack of common goals and absence of "constructive confrontation", he wonders if blogs have stalled in their necessary evolutionary process.
Many of members of my PLC have either responded to Ryan's posting or begun parallel discussions. While recounting details of the Stager and Richardson UStream "Bootleg", Clay Burell mentioned "blogger burnout" and the lack of interaction by "top-tier bloggers" when comments are left on their pages. The announcement in October by Will Richardson that he was considering giving up blogging to concentrate on Skype chats caused consternation and controversy, as those outside of Will's inner circle contemplated losing his direct guidance and leadership [he continues to post, but not as frequently as in the past]. Clay reminds us (and them) that the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with some of the leaders in educational technology has always been a key benefit of reading and writing blogs.
A commenter on Ryan's post, Evan Scherr, is critical of those who spend time "telling me what they are doing in their classroom. For many of us, we can't get excited about how you are using UStream in the classroom when the UStream site is blocked by our public school district. We can't get excited about how your class built a MySpace page, when MySpace is blocked by our school district." I strongly disagree with this criticism. Although it can be disheartening to read about innovation that is (presently) out of my reach, every example I am able to cite from the edublogosphere is a valuable persuasive tool in helping convince my administrators, BOE, and fellow teachers of the value of embedded technology tools. Jo McLeay's Voicethread, Anthony Armstrong's podcast project, Cathy Nelson's experiments in both these venues, Clay Burell's digital storytelling renditions of "Paradise Lost", Carolyn Foote's virtual author visit via Skype...all serve to inspire rather discourage me. If they can do it, so can I; more importantly, if their students can do it, so can - and should - mine.
Finally, I'd like to share a quote from SC Morgan: "Twitter is for the linking--blogs are for the thinking." Twitter serves as a way to stay connected with colleagues. Blogs are better suited for the conversations, debates, explorations that will result in deeper understanding and professional growth.
"It is not what we learn in conversation that enriches us. It is the elation that comes of swift contact with tingling currents of thought." -Agnes Repplier
"With thee conversing I forget all time." -John Milton
"IMG_0214" by blair christensen