A dissenting voice.

In the blogosphere, like finds like. This is probably an unavoidable, and perhaps even a "natural" process. Bloggers seek out the tags that are related to their interests, they quote each other, they establish a community, and that community is in a continual process of weeding out those who aren't true believers. This is part of what Jaron Lanier is referring to when he writes about the hive mind.

Barbara Ganley is, from my reading at least, one of the more thoughtful bloggers on the technologies in education scene, and she's been around for a long time and has accumulated a great deal of experience - much of it positive. On a blog post of her's from January of 2005, Pedagogical Underpinnings of Blogs in the Classroom, she raises an important question:

As Sarah puts it, constructivist pedagogy has not caught on in higher ed the way it has in K-12 (mostly, K-6), and until it does, well, blogs probably won't catch on in quite the way I'm pushing them. So what does this mean?

It's time for me to make some decisions about how I want to talk about blogs in the future. Do I do so gently, subtly, hoping that through a gradual acceptance and use of blogs, fellow educators will also embrace the notion of the classroom as a community of practice constructing knowledge collaboratively, aided by the blog? Or do I just come right out there at the beginning of presentations and say, okay, don't bother with blogs unless you're ready to step off the stage and into the circle of learning?

Pedagogy first, blogs second--or--blogs as the vehicle to the pedagogy?
One reader enters the fray with an obvious, and perhaps even reflex, answer: it's not an either/or question. But some of her readers are willing to admit that a real problem exists. Another reader, for instance, sees this as the crux of the problem:
Closer to home, Clara Y brought me to CET because I was doing what you're now noticing--and after all this time! I thought then, actually, that the CET "would change things." In some ways it has, of course; however, what we're seeking and looking for, when put up against cost, has not happened, not in the classroom, not by a long margin.
The writer of that post, Hector Vila, seems, for some reason unknown to me, to not be around anymore. A few years back he garnered considerable praise for very good work, and for being in the vanguard of using blogs in the classroom. Today, however, his personal blog doesn't seem to be accessible, and on another blog where he posted items the latest posting with his name is from about a year and a half ago. Maybe he gave up?

Go to: A magic strand?