A few days ago, a colleague shared what a tough time she had blogging about what she’d learned. She’d just finished an email exchange with an iPad app vendor, providing feedback to the vendor on a feature that she needed fixed. I encouraged her to write about her experience, as well as that of working with iPads and management issues. “Share one thing a day,” I remarked, “and your blog will soon have avid readers!”
“I have to overcome my fear of putting my thoughts out there,” she replied. Further discussion revealed her to be a perfectionist, someone for whom writing is a sacred act, a missive to the gods, so to speak, that must not be sent forth unless expertly crafted. Alas, I remember this feeling well. I am so grateful that I’ve forsaken my quest for excellence in writing, instead grateful for the relaxation of writing, not for publication, but shared learning and to heighten collaborative opportunities.
Does that make writing in a blog less than academic writing? Or writing for publication in a print magazine, subject to the kind ministrations of an all-powerful editor, any more sacrosanct? Not really. We are writing for different audiences. Perhaps, another important lesson is that which Silvia T. brings up in her blog entry:
Another mind shift that is taking place around us and that we need to be aware of in education: the MIDDLE MAN is gone! Source: Langwitches
Time and again, folks are seeing how the “middle man” is gone. The truth is that blogs, social media serve as tools of disintermediation, enabling us to connect with each other in ways that weren’t previously possible, or if possible, unnecessarily difficult.
How will we model this kind of communication and the resulting possibility of collaboration with people whom we once may have held in contempt (those money-grubbing vendors)? How do we overcome, not only our fear of sharing our discontent, but also, our happiness with vendors?
Just yesterday, or the day before, I had the opportunity to curate a post about a new app for iOS which turns it into a scan-tron reader and grader. Shortly after tweeting that, the teacher-creator of the app sent me a tweet. This is but one of many such occurrences for connected learners, who aren’t afraid to speak up and share what they like–or don’t–about products available.
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