Those Content To Lurk

I've added a comment to my recent post about online participation (or lack thereof) that deserves a little focus time on the stage:

Upon thinking further about this topic, I've decided to add a few important words to my second category of educator. Originally it read:

2. Those content to lurk but still hesitant to contribute.

I've edited it to read:

2. Those content to lurk but still hesitant (or unable, for whatever reason) to contribute.

The fact of the matter is that there exist a very large number of effective educators that are simply not able to contribute in any significantly recurrent amount to online discussion. All told, it's not that they're incapable of participating and it's not that they're unwilling. Rather, this group maintains perceived silence online because their professional priorities prohibit them from spending the time or energy required to provide plausible contribution.

As I think Jared was suggesting in his comment, this population includes some teachers. Likewise, I think that school/district administrators and other members of the school community should be included. Furthermore, any inference that the offline contributions of these professionals are insignificant is simply unjustified and honestly inappropriate.
Now think carefully about this:
  • Do you think there is legitimate justification for a lack of participation in the important discussions that occur online (or are some conversations simply too important)?

Image source: Flickr user horizontal.integration. No clue what this picture has to do with lurking, but it sure made me smile :-)

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