Social Capital and EduBloggerCon

Two days later, here are some of my thoughts regarding this year's version of EduBloggerCon.

Short, Shallow Version Beginning with IMHO:

  • Ewan hopes for an EduBloggerCon that includes far too many /plug your ears, Bud/ sages on the stages /end ear plugging/. Besides, it's easy to gripe. Why not help with the planning or offer solutions?
  • Mark has done a fantastic job with proposing possible solutions. His list of well-thought-out possibilities (under the heading Looking Ahead) should be considered before tackling future events.
  • Jeff's concerns are valid and should equally be addressed as we move ahead.
  • Will and company lead many of the impressionable whether they like it or not. Likewise, EduBoggerCon will only be what we make it. "We", in this case, refers to those that care enough to stick through the rough patches. Bugging out early does nothing for providing solutions. Ryan's advice might apply here.
  • Vinnie's third factor was dead on. This was the EduBloggerCon of out-streaming, out-tweeting, and out opinion-ating. Again, you can choose to either report the conversation or actually participate in it. It's very difficult to do both well.
Longer, More Extensive Version that I've Been Formulating for Several Days

To begin with, social capital exists in every society. According to Shirky (2008):
When your neighbor walks your dog while you are ill, or the guy behind the counter trusts you to pay him next time, social capital is at work… Societies characterized by a high store of social capital overall do better than societies with low social capital on a similarly wide range of measurements, from crime rate to the costs of doing business to economic growth. (p. 192)
While there exist a number of definitions for the term social capital, I see the concept as a descriptor of how well members of a community care for each other.

In our small community - think 200 EduBloggerCon-ers versus 18,000 NECC-ers - social capital exists but unfortunately ours appears to a society characterized by a pathetically paltry store. Events transpiring at EduBloggerCon clearly demonstrate this.

Sad, to say the least, so first the positive then the negative.

On the bright side, our community does have at least some traces of social capital. When Paul Wood, for example, kindly volunteered to help Vicki Davis by timing smack-downers during her session – social capital was at work. When six or seven people stayed after EduBloggerCon to help Steve Hargadon set up computers for the Open Source lab – social capital was at work. That’s the good news.

The bad news, at least for our growing community, is that other events transpiring at EduBloggerCon indicate that we’ve got more issues - as a community - than many would like to admit. Now I’m not talking about camera crews, I’m not talking about boom microphones, and I’m not talking about Pearson. Rather, I’m talking about support, giving when it might not improve your Technorati rating, and I’m even talking about what can easily be perceived as cocktail parties. Yes, I said it: Cocktail parties.

What I’m really talking about is this:

Without question, the "session" pictured above was an engaging, educationally rich, likely transforming experience for those precious few involved. It was unplanned, spontaneous, and informal. Additionally, it was likely exhilarating, enlightening, and oh so Edupunk.

Did we not all come to EduBloggerCon – often at our own expense – with hopes of engaging in an experience just like this?

Nevertheless, the scanty fortunate pictured above represent less than 1% of the people that actually attended EduBloggerCon. Moreover, as others gradually attempted to join in on this cocktail party of learning, when the party became too large, those that were truly invited quickly dispersed – with few of the elect deciding to return to the larger fold.

Aren’t we all here for the learning? Aren’t we all here for the rush? Nevertheless, because our community is growing – and at an exponential rate – the ability to provide such experiences for every interested individual becomes increasingly difficult. Notwithstanding, as problematic at this struggle may be, I think it would be in every educator’s best interest for us to identify the best possible ways to provide this kind of engaging, transforming, and edupunk-rich learning environment.

In my opinion, the best part of EduBloggerCon was when we all gathered at the end of the day to discuss what went well and what, frankly, didn’t. It was there that we were able to better come to terms with both how we felt about Pearson’s intrusions and how we hoped to approach our fold’s growing numbers. And while we could have benefited from the insight of those that had so hastily dispersed, I think it was clear in the end who was dedicated to helping our community grow – in spite of the growing pains we might be experiencing - and with hopes of including everyone interested.

As our grassroots community continues to grow, here’s to the hope that we might all stick together in this effort to provide everyone with the kind of learning experiences we remember having when the grass was much shorter.

Image Source: Flickr user derrallg

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Quotes & Questions - Chapter 2: Sharing Anchors Community

Our electronic networks are enabling novel forms of collective action, enabling the creation of collaborative groups that are larger and more distributed than at any other time in history. The scope of work that can be done by noninstitutional groups is a profound challenge to the status quo. (p. 48)
  • What kinds of work can be done by noninstitutional groups today that could not be done ten years ago – and how does this change society?
The rungs of the ladder, in order of difficulty, are sharing, cooperation, and collective action… Sharing creates the fewest demands on the participants… Cooperating is harder than simply sharing, because it involves changing your behavior to synchronize with people who are changing their behavior to synchronize with you… Collective action, the third rung, is the hardest kind of group effort, as it requires a group of people to commit themselves with undertaking a particular effort together, and to do so in a way that makes the decision of the group binding ton the individual members. (pp. 49-51)
  • Describe your experiences with sharing, cooperation, and collective action.
  • How do new online tools make these behaviors easier to accomplish?
  • In what ways might they be more difficult?

  • Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody. New York: The Penguin Press.
Image Source: Flickr user Mzelle Biscotte

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Quotes & Questions - Chapter 1: It Takes A Villiage to Find A Phone

Shirky’s Thesis:

Group action gives human society its particular character, and anything that changes the way groups get things done will affect society as a whole. This change will not be limited to any particular set of institutions or functions. For any given organization, the important questions are “When will the change happen?” and “What will change?” The only two answers we can rule out are never, and nothing. The ways in which any given institution will find its situation transformed will vary but the various local changes are manifestations of a single deep source: newly capable groups are assembling, and they are working without the managerial imperative and outside the previous strictures that bounded their effectiveness. These changes will transform the world everywhere groups of people come together to accomplish something, which is to say everywhere. (p. 23)
  • What changes do you see happening in education?

Policing time is finite, but the willingness of humans to feel wronged is infinite. (p. 14)
I know that online tools offer incredible power and potential, often eliminating boundaries of time and geography. Nevertheless, because much of online communication takes place by reading and writing, there can exist an increased potential to offend.
  • Have you ever been “wronged” or offended online?
  • What happened?
  • What could have been done to avoid the offense?
One of the most severe punishments that can be meted out to a prisoner is solitary confinement; even in a social environment as harsh and attenuated as prison, complete removal from human contact is harsher still. (p. 15)
  • How can online interactions be perceived as a solitary experience?
  • In what ways is online correspondence more social than face to face?
When we change the way we communicate, we change society. (p. 17)
  • True or false, and why?
  • Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody. New York: The Penguin Press.
Image Source: Flickr user fdecomite

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Quotes & Questions: Here Comes Everybody

As I've stated a number of times before, I think Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody presents a number of landmark ideas that demand further attention.

In an attempt to continue the conversations in which I have participated on a number of different occasions (and to begin a few more with fellow members of my graduate cohort at Utah State University), I have decided to write a series of posts to this blog that isolate various quotations within the book. I will also follow the citations with questions that I think every educator should attempt to answer, for the concepts introduced by Shirky have tremendous implications for teaching and learning at every level.

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After an educational day at this year's EduBloggerCon, I thought I'd better figure out where I'm supposed to be for the rest of the duration. Here's a quick run-down of some of the things I hope not to miss (because I'll be directly involved in each):

Tuesday, July 1

  • 2:00-3:00pm, HGCC 217 A - Social Networking in Education

    I am extremely excited to participate on this panel with several progressive educators (Steve Hargadon, Steve Dembo, James Klein, Michael McVey and Dennis O'Connor), each of whom has much to add to the discussion surrounding social networking and education.
Wednesday, July 2
  • 8:30-9:30am, Bloggers' Cafe - Blogging and Twitter Etiquette

    I will be facilitating this discussion with David Jakes, Kristen Hokanson, and Scott Swanson. Based upon a few of the ideas we've begun to explore here.
  • 1:30-2:30pm, HGCC 207 A - The Walls Came Down: Incubating Collaborative Learning Environments

    This is a panel based upon a number of exciting events that have occurred during the last year. We hope to illustrate a number of possibilities now afforded teachers and students given the kinds of collaborative tools now freely available. With Vicki Davis, Kelly DuMont, Robin Ellis, Carolyn Foote, Kristin Hokanson and Beth Ritter-Guth, I hope to discuss what we've learned in our experiences with OpenPD and offer an objective perspective to the use of new tools.
Image Source: Flickr user max03

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Why We Can Do What We Do

Clayton Christensen (2008) begins his latest book with a staggeringly powerful quotation by John Adams:

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. (pp. 8-9)
With our society and planet's homeostasis in constant flux and in delicate balance, I hope we all take time to realize how fortunate we are to be able to worry and argue over "issues" as trivial as edupunk, etiquette, and Technorati rankings.

  • Christensen, C. M., Horn, M. B., and Johnson, C. W. (2008). Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and Personality. New York: HarperCollins.
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I had a moment of epiphany yesterday when I realized (yes, it finally hit me) that the kinds of organizations that are described in Shirky's (2008) Here Comes Everybody - online communities, groups that are formed without formally structured organizations - are little more than examples of an evolved form of adhocracy.

From Bolman and Deal (2003):

Adhocracy is a loose, flexible, self-renewing organic form tied together mostly through lateral means... Ad hoc structures are most often found in conditions of turbulence and rapid change. (p. 79)
Turbulence? Rapid change? You can say that again.

Continuing, from Wikipedia (an adhocracy in and of itself):

Characteristics of an adhocracy:
  • highly organic structure[2]
  • little formalization of behavior[2][1]
  • a reliance on liaison devices to encourage mutual adjustment, the key coordinating mechanism, within and between these teams[2][3]
  • low standardization of procedures, because they stifle innovation[1]
  • roles not clearly defined[1]
  • selective decentralization[1]
  • work organization rests on specialized teams[1]
  • power-shifts to specialized teams
  • horizontal job specialization[3]
  • high cost of communication[3]
  • culture based on democractic and non-bureaucratic work [3]
All members of an organization have the authority to make decisions and to take actions affecting the future of the organization. There is an absence of hierarchy.
No hierarchy? So much for the adhocratic nature of the edubloggersphere (no link necessary - you know what I'm talking about).

Nevertheless, in reviewing the list of characteristics presented in Wikipedia, I've intentionally omitted two characteristic points because I'm not sure how they apply to Web 2.0 and ad hoc, online group formation:
  • job specialization based on formal training[2]
  • a tendency to group the specialists in functional units for housekeeping purposes but to deploy them in small, market-based project teams to do their work[2]
You tell me:
  • Is job specialization associated with online groups based on formal training?
  • In online groups, are specialists grouped in functional units but deployed in small, market-based project teams to do their work?
I'm not so sure.

  • Bolman, L. G. and Deal, T. E. (2003). Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody. New York: The Penguin Press.
Image Source: Flickr user Hamed Saber

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Twittering To Learn

Many of the people in my Twitter network appear to be in it for the learning. Largely, they come from an education background and seem to enjoy rubbing shoulders with those from whom they learn. In their book entitled Distance Education: A Systems View, Moore and Kearsley (2005) explain, in one sense, why this might be so:

Most students enjoy interaction with their instructor and fellow students not only for instructional reasons but for the emotional support that comes from such social contact. (p. 182)
So again, what do you get out of Twitter that you can't really get anywhere else?

  • Moore, M. and Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance Education: A Systems View. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
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He's Actually Talking to You

Why Gary shouldn't have to name names (and how the shoe fits every last one of us):

To those outside the field of reading, the never-ending Reading Wars must appear to be much ado about nothing: an annoying philosophical quarrel indulged in by professionals who have planted themselves on opposing sides of the phonics versus whole-language fence... It is important that [we all] realize that the tactics used to control reading instruction are directed at all fields of education and that we are all vulnerable to the scientific revolution of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Therefore, we all need to understand the mentality and the tactics of those who are promoting scientific research as the cure-all for what ails the schools. The ethical and procedural imperatives of good science are now particularly relevant to all areas of education. (Garan, 2005, p. 438)
More to come shortly.

  • Garan, E. (2005). Murder your darlings: A scientific response to The voice of evidence. Phi Delta Kappan, 86(1), 438-443.
Image Source: Flickr user chadmagiera

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Coveted NECC Atire

Image Source:

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The 21st Century Engaged Classroom

Today marks the final day in our first two weeks of participation with teachers involved in the Jordan School District 21st Century Engaged Classroom professional development opportunity. An outstanding opportunity for teachers in our district, this program has been the result of hundreds of hours spent by members of my team and literally hundreds of thousands of dollars as budgeted by our state legislature.

At a glance, this is what the program entails:

In the end, the discussions were exceptionally meaningful, the content was very extensive, and the teachers - more often than not - finished with that deer-in-the-headlights look. As our mantra in planning this whole thing was consistently "less is more", we honestly tried to maintain manageability for every teacher involved. With three months to practice what we've preached before the next school year begins, hopefully the teachers we've worked with will be able to implement a number of the strategies and tools into their teaching in such a way that will increase learning all around.

Great stuff, can't wait to see what the teachers are able to accomplish!

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Revisiting Students 2.0

First, let me be crystal clear: I'm a huge fan of Students 2.0. As I've said before, the students that contribute to the Students 2.0 blog are smart, connected, and excellent writers in their own right.

Second, a quick review might be in order. As of this writing:

  • Students 2.0: A blog written entirely by students
  • Students 2.0: Located at
  • Since December 10, 2007: 29 posts and 3 asides
  • Ranked: #10 in the edublogger world
  • RSS subscribers: 1,091
  • Comments: 871
  • Comments per post (average): 30
Third, I have several favorite posts. Here are a few:
  • Nothing's Important - Arthus has an amazing way of speaking my mind. I absolutely love doing nothing.
  • Edupunk? - That Lindsea has some real attitude. I love it! Here's a quote that was instantly classic:
Don’t you teachers remember when you were young? Hippies? Protesters? Implementers of change? Controllers of the cool, anti-establishment, nonconformist underground culture? Can you imagine what it might feel like if a bunch of older people, outside of your culture, used your name for something completely different? And didn’t include you in the discussions of it?

This far into the game, however, I'm still plagued with a number of questions about Students 2.0, its vision, and its overall effectiveness. Don't get me wrong:
  • I love their posts, I love their thinking, I love their sharing.
  • They've made many teachers think (some perhaps for the first time) and have garnered a community of readers interested in changing education for the better.
  • They've sparked an amazing number of intriguing conversations that wouldn't pack as much punch if they hadn't been started by students.
Nevertheless, am I misguided in honestly expecting more?
  • Have the students of Students 2.0 effectively accomplished their purpose, and to their full potential?
  • If so, how have they reached their full potential?
  • If not, at what point will success be achieved?
"This blog is an attempt to give students a voice in where the future of education is headed."
  • Do students now have a voice in determining education's future?
  • If so, is that voice actually heard?
  • If so, is it making a difference?
  • If so, can you tell me how?
  • If not, what can I do to help?
Finally, with hopes of accomplishing something more, I wrote the paragraph that follows to the authors of Students 2.0 several months ago. Are these words not as valid today as they were when I first wrote them?

Never forget that everything in education is political. Yep: everything. As a result, the number of eyes that see your work will never be important if the right eyes never see it. Legislators, other leaders in government, and ultimately your parents are the people that you will need to inspire. And while your voice might be "strong", it's only one voice. Get millions of your peers to echo your thoughts, with a roar that's impossible to ignore, and you will truly succeed.

Or was/am I wrong?
  • If I'm wrong, please correct me.
  • If not, what can we do to help?
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EduBloggerCon, NECC Uplugged: Catalysts For Learning Revolution?

[I consider this post to be a first draft, a few ideas I want to share and explore further. As such, I'd love your ideas and additional connections you may identify.]

NECC Unplugged, EduBloggerCon (and similar, forward-thinking conference formats) can be catalysts for change toward such a revolution, models for the kinds of changes that should be taking place in our classes.

Informal, oft-times spur-of-the-moment, unconference-type gatherings - in both online and face to face venues - can produce not only learning connections (Siemens, 2005) but spark ideas that likely wouldn't emerge without such interactions. In combining Gladwell's (2008) thoughts about the generation of ideas and Shirky's (2008) notions regarding collaborative action one can create the perfect cookbook for use in constructing the next revolution of learning.

As I have recently elaborated on Shirky's ideas related to this concept, I will now expound upon Gladwell's article, emphasizing how his thoughts relate to social networking, unconferences in general, and NECC Unplugged in particular. Please keep in mind that page numbers, as I have included them below, are relative references to the printed result of Gladwell's work that is currently distributed online by The New Yorker.

  • Invention sessions (p. 3) are a fascinating idea. Why shouldn't such idea-creation sessions serve as a model to be followed in other learning environments?
  • The idea of "multiples" (p. 6) is equally intriguing. Is it just a coincident that Gladwell has written about these invention sessions at the same time that Steve Hargadon has also been thinking about them (see his post here and my post here)? I don't think so. As Gladwell has noted in quoting Stephen Stigler, "No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer" (p. 9).
  • I love this quote: "Ideas weren't precious. They were everywhere, which suggested that maybe the extraordinary process that we thought was necessary for invention - genius, obsession, serendipity, epiphany - wasn't necessary at all" (p. 5). What is necessary to bring new ideas so easily to the surface? Sharing, cooperation, and collective action (see below and Shirky, pp. 49-53).
  • Another great quote from Gladwell and the reason why we could be on the verge of a learning revolution:
Good ideas are out there for anyone with the wit and the will to find them, which is how a group of people can sit down to dinner, put their minds to it, and end up with eight single-spaced pages of ideas" (p. 7).

In following the "invention sessions" model as described by Gladwell, there exist a number of conditions that must be present in order for "insight to be orchestrated" (p. 8):
  • Gather several intelligent people from different backgrounds in an informal, relaxed setting. It would be nice if EduBloggerCon and other unconferences (like Classroom 2.0 Live Workshops, for example) attracted more people outside of ed-tech, leaders in their respective fields. Furthermore, if the Classroom 2.0 social network had wider array of participants, coming from a wider diversity of fields, the conversations would likely improve. With time, a more diverse group should develop.

    To continue, Shirky's final words in Here Comes Everybody offer fascinating insight to this very concept:
Our social tools are dramatically improving our ability to share, cooperate, and act together. As everyone from working biologists to angry air passengers adopts these tools, it is leading to an epochal change. (p. 304)
  • Pose a series of stimulating questions. Let the ideas bounce off of each other. Remember, similar to many brainstorming sessions, there aren't really any rules. The trick to a great EduBloggerCon session is to begin the discussion with the right set of questions.
  • You can put together an invention session "anywhere you can find enough imagination, a fresh set of eyes, and a room full of [smart people]" (p. 9). These smart people, however, don't have to be Einsteins. This is exactly why Classroom 2.0 works so well.
Finally, in considering further the idea of a learning revolution, one must additionally account for Shirky's advice concerning the same. "Revolution doesn't happen when society adopts new technologies - it happens when society adopts new behaviors" (p. 160).

Unless we, as a conference-attending society, adopt new learning behaviors, no revolution will ever take place.

Image Source: Flickr user Cayusa

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Poor, Poor, Pluto

The news:

Wikipedia's take:

The reason for Wikipedia's take:

Britannica Online Encyclopedia's take:

If you can't beat 'em, then I guess you just can't beat 'em.

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In Search of Motives More Pure

In 1990, John Goodlad described one of the reasons that many people decide to join the teaching profession:

We have been inclined, many of us, to think of a profession as a calling, conjuring up images of idealistic young men and women preparing themselves to serve God or humankind or both. At times, teaching is so envisioned and depicted, as in the movie Stand and Deliver or Sylvia Ashton Warner's book Teacher. Our admiration usually is for a specific, humane, selfless teacher... (p. 15)
While I've often considered the moral dimensions of teaching, I now wonder if our motives for teaching have changed since 1990, possibly with the advent of the read/write web.

One demonstration of how our motives may have changed lies within this video describing the current state of the Internet as well as some of our motives in participation.

Consider the following, as taken from the above video:
And why are people drawn to these communities? Not to get rich... They want to socialise and get recognition for the work they do (hyperlink and emphasis added by me).
Is this really why we do what we do, write what we write, and teach what we teach? If this quest for recognition were limited merely to those of other fields, I suppose I wouldn't be so concerned. The sad truth is, however, that we as teachers are not immune from many of the frailties suffered by those of other professions.

Indeed, the unfortunate quest for fame is definitely among us. It's quantified by rankings, qualified by a plethora of pointless posts of blather, and lusted after by far too many that most certainly should know better.

Fame. Rankings. Give me a break.

My hopes are for a brighter future - or one that better resembles the purer aspects of the past.

  • Goodlad, J.I. (1990). "The occupation of teaching in schools", in Goodlad, J.I., Soder, R., Sirotnik, K.A. (Eds), The Moral Dimensions of Teaching, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, pp. 3-31.
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Your Take On Disqus

I'm still wondering about Disqus. What's your take?


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TTIX, A Shining Example of Conference 3.0

Last week I was privileged to attend the first day of the fourth annual Teaching with Technology Idea Exchange, an "open conference that encourages free access to presentation information and materials, and facilitates the sharing of knowledge."

As I have written about this conference before, I must now report on how pleased I am with a number of small additions that have been made to the conference experience - implementations that all conference organizers would do well to incorporate:

  1. Every session was video-taped and made available online in a mere matter of minutes after the sessions were completed. Video was streamed and archived using Apple's free Quicktime Broadcaster. Quick, easy, free, and an instantly available archive. What's not to like?
  2. TTIX now has its own blog to which conference presenters and participants can contribute. Great idea that could be improved upon with a simpler registration process and a larger pool of writers.
  3. Every session has it's own web page with a dedicated chat room (back-channel). Included is a brief evaluation form for participants to give their feedback regarding the presentation. Here's an example. This kind of instant, participant-driven feedback will define 21st Century learning.
  4. The lunch-time speed demos, presented by any willing participant, were an excellent opportunity for anyone willing to share.
  5. Conference organizers utilized and encouraged Twitter use as a way to further collaborate.
  6. The entire conference was FREE. Including LUNCH and a free USB thumb-drive. All provided by conference sponsors.
If TTIX can do it, why can't others?

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Following dy/dan's lead, I thought I'd pass along a few more that I've seen cropping up. Figurin' it out, DIY-style:

Image sources: Doug Johnson, Will Richardson, and Flickr users annalise.ellen, jesstermix77, HckySo, and Janice Stearns - thinkn U can figr wh1ch goez where, DIY, yo.

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Disqus, Anyone?

Disqus is a fairly new commenting system that I thought I'd try in connection with this blog. It apparently allows for threaded discussions and the ability to track conversations that are occurring on other Disqus-enabled blogs. If this works the way that I think it can work, it should be able to further expand conversations to blogs with which we may not be familiar.

Feel free to take their tour to quickly learn more and/or post a quick comment here to see it in action.

Special thanks to Doug Belshaw for pushing me in this direction and being willing to try it out with me. Soooo cool!

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Edublogger Etiquette

[Originally posted on May 1, re-posted on June 6 - in an attempt to both garner additional etiquette sightings from you and to further generate additional conversation. Remember, I'm definitely not the guru on this stuff, but we are.]

In response to Sue Water's recent post and in follow up to our final discussion in OpenPD regarding a few of the intricacies of blogger etiquette, I have decided to write a series of posts concerning the matter. I will focus all discussion of etiquette upon what has come to be termed the edublogosphere - or educational blogging - because I think that we actually have our own standard, our own set of rules, and should (more often than not) set the proper example for others.

It is my hope that such posts promote a healthy discussion about current blogging and educational trends, as well as advancing us toward a normative view of edublogger etiquette - if that’s even possible.

Several items of note:

  • The entire thread of edublogger etiquette posts (that I write) can be viewed by clicking here.
  • Any comment addressing the whole should most likely be assigned to this post.
  • All posts that I write addressing this topic will contain both a copy of the logo I've created for this thread and a link to this post (the index post, if you will).
Feel free to participate in this discussion by:
  • Adding your voice to the comments of any post.
  • Adding your voice by writing a post on your blog or on any social network. Please tag related posts with the 'edubloggeretiquette' tag and feel free to include the logo.

Any posts I identify as being connected with this topic will be aggregated here:
  • Citations
    • Is linking to a photo an adequate way to cite the author?
  • Image Attribution
    • Is it necessary to use extensive citations in our blog posts?
    • How do I cite screenshots of photos?
    • What about Kwout? Are the citations that it creates for screenshots adequate?
  • Deep Linking
    • Is deep-linking to photos, icons, or other content appropriate?
  • Embedding Video
    • If a video is on YouTube, does that mean that it is now fair game for posting on a blog?
    • Does it matter if the content of your post is educational?
    • Does it matter if the original video doesn't specify copyright restrictions?
  • Responding To Comments
    • Are there rules of etiquette that intrinsically govern the way bloggers should respond to comments?
    • Is there a time when a blogger might be exempt from responding to the comments of his/her readers?
  • Healthy Debate
    • How does one identify the line between a healthy debate and a downright ugly brawl?
    • What rules are inherent to such discussions?
  • Inappropriate Comments
    • When does a discussion of a product turn into an unacceptable advertisement?
    • As the creator of a blog, what should one do to discourage such behavior?
  • Online Reputation
    • How is an online reputation any different than a person's reputation in the physical world?
    • How might actions taken online affect a person?
    • How does one improve their online reputation?
    • What kinds of behaviors taint an online reputation?
  • Seeding the Conversation
    • What is an appropriate "rule of thumb" when posting in a non-school-affiliated space that is nonetheless open to the public?
  • Twitter & Self-Promotion
    • When do a person's advertisements (on various social networks) for activities they may be promoting become an undesirable display of self-promotion?
    • What are the rules of etiquette - if any - that might apply to the combination of educational blogging and Twitter use?
  • Student Blogging
    • Must precautions be taken when posting student information to blogs (and/or other websites)?
    • Is there a set of rules that one could follow that would ensure that proper publishing protocol is followed, independent of the blogger's national, state, district, or school restrictions?
    • What are your rules for publishing information related to children that you know?
  • Thinking Globally
    • If a blog is publicly and globally accessible, should its author consider the background and cultural diversity of its readers?
    • What steps can and should be taken in connection with addressing a diverse readership?
  • Enforcement
    • If the blogosphere is "to maintain a set of communal standards" regarding etiquette, what mechanism of enforcement can be implemented?
    • What are some ways that etiquette is currently enforced throughout the blogosphere?
    • What are some steps that could be taken to ensure a more consistent mechanism of enforcement?
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Edublogger Etiquette - Enforcement

Clay Shirky states that:

... for any group determined to maintain a set of communal standards some mechanism of enforcement must exist.

A few related questions:
  • If the blogosphere is "to maintain a set of communal standards" regarding etiquette, what mechanism of enforcement can be implemented?
  • What are some ways that etiquette is currently enforced throughout the blogosphere?
  • What are some steps that could be taken to ensure a more consistent mechanism of enforcement?
Reference: Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody. New York: The Penguin Press, p. 50.

Image Source: Flickr user jrbrubaker

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Catch the Fever: Viral Professional Development - Add Your Voice!

Viral Professional Development is emerging in education as a viable method of increasing teacher engagement and learning. Using tools such as Twitter, rss readers, blogs, educational networks, and wikis, educators are collaborating on a grassroots level. This year at NECC, a panel discussion of educators on July 2nd at 1:30 pm CDT will be discussing and live Ustreaming a session to discuss viral professional development.

How did this panel discussion originate?

On Monday, September 17, 2007, Google launched the Google Presentation web application to their suite of services. News of this new service spread quickly through the
blogosphere and Twitter and soon more than fifty different people made over 500 edits in a twenty-four hour period to one Google presentation. Since introduced, this presentation has been used by hundreds of people to begin conversations centered on free online tools used to weave a web of connections between people around the world.

As a result of this transformational experience, educators begin discussing the importance of sharing the changing nature of professional development and documentation of best practices in VIRAL professional development. The proposal was written in Google Docs and since acceptance, an expanded group of educators around the world has used a wiki,
elluminate, and a variety of tools to bring a collaborative, immersive viral PD experience to NECC and to people around the world.


Backchannel Presenters/ Moderators
How can you participate?

At 1:30pm CDT on July 2, we will be participating in a NECC panel discussion that centers on the power of the network. During our presentation we hope to demonstrate to all those attending our session in person (and virtually), just how powerful global collaboration can be. Hence, we are asking for your participation in our presentation as well.

1) Join our Ustream

We will be streaming the presentation live on the Open PD Ustream
channel at 1:30 pm CDT on July 2nd. You may watch here and participate in the conversation (and even ask the panelists questions).

2) Leave a comment on our VoiceThread

One way that you can participate now is by adding your voice to the
VoiceThread below. Please take a few minutes and add your thoughts about the different tools depicted through images in the thread. We would truly like as many voices possible, offering a wide range of thought on the usefulness of the common tools we all use in our collaborations.
  • How do you use these tools? How are they important to your professional development? Please add your voice.

3) Join the conversation on the NECC Educational networking site.

We've created a discussion thread to converse on this panel discussion at the NECC educational networking site.

4) Follow our most recent announcements.

All announcements and events pertaining to this session will be announced at
the Walls Came Down wiki.

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