This is a rambling mess, but I’m not apologizing. You’ve been warned.
I’ve been thinking about the Twitter panel from Friday at the IST Grad Symposium and have come to see a couple of camps … one group looks at Twitter and says real connections don’t happen, that it is a waste of time, and an ego echo chamber. There is another group that sees it as full of opportunities to make real connections because it is simply a platform. There’s yet another who is like the first group, but they do participate. Seeing these three camps may be a generalization and I can deal with anyone disagreeing with me. I don’t really care too much which camp people fall into and I think I’ve arrived at a place where I’m not going to justify the technology. I’m just done with that argument — if you want to play, play. If you don’t, don’t.
What I am interested in is having opportunities to talk about the affordances and how they relate to problems of practice. I see challenges across the board in our classrooms and what I don’t see enough are people working to talk about them constructively. I hear a lot of people complain and never work to come together to do anything about them … I see way too many students sitting by themselves in classrooms not engaged, too many faculty teaching from PowerPoint, and too many administrators not pushing for reform. I’m not saying Twitter has anything to do with any of it, but don’t you think it is about time we start to really come together, make some connections, and radically do something about it all?
I can talk to the World in the blink of an eye and I know there are lots of smart people out there toiling away at what they do who are waking up to how bad it all really is. The big change here is that we can hear each other and we can change things if we want by coming together. And you know what, at the end of the day it may not be about changing the system at all, it may be about a new environment where connections happen and knowledge is shared openly. Maybe learning communities can happen without the corporate bullshit that much of our educational system is built on — I watch my first grader come home every night with nothing but worksheets from some curriculum book and I see students on campus doing nothing but reading from textbooks and taking electronic tests built from a publisher’s test bank. What kind of education is that? Why the hell do we let it happen?
I’m done with it. I’ve decided that I will work to make change happen and I’m inviting other people … anyone with a connection that wants to start a revolution knows where to find me.