Earlier: Came across Scott's commentary on a post at 'I Speak of Dreams', about the art of teenage blogging and the reaction by schools to restrict access by students to these blog/journal sites in schools.
We are still seeing the blogosphere as somewhat emerging in terms of teaching and learning, but already there are some excellent examples of its use in education - you only have to see the wave of edublogs, uniblogs and learnerblogs, courteousy of James Farmer, for one!
How is the Establishment going to face up to this? I put the challenge to Ed institutions out there with Scott's pointers and questions as a starting point! I agree with him when he says:
...providing an open yet supportive environment for student writing and communication may not be as difficult or risky as its made out. But you have to understand students, and understand the emerging teen web culture.These young adults are our future! And I don't think we get to know our students enough to make value judgements about what we teach them. If we continue to hamper students' development as responsible and civil global citizens, how are we to do so if we continue to cast limitations on them? How will they learn responsibility? How will they embrace the critical thinking skills we espouse in our teaching practices, while at the same time locking up their options?
I am reminded of a tale (told many times over, the origin of which escapes me) where a young boy, a diehard Superman fan, dressed in his Superman outfit - including cape, was convinced that in wearing his outfit he could fly. His mother did not deter him as he climbed the fence - his "launching platform." He of course jumped and fell, hurting himself in the "fly" - but learnt a valuable lesson about gravity (and the lack of human flying ability) at the same time. This story sticks with me as a constant reminder of the need to 'love with open arms' as they say. Painful, yes of course - that's life! We often learn best from painful and involving experiences! Often, in sytematising processes and practices (like education), we find ourselves trying to lighten the blow, removing ourselves one step from the action, objectifying and sterilising the experience.
Perhaps we need to bring such topics into the upcoming 2006 Blog Hui Conference in NZ? What can we do to better advocate for blogs and persoanl learning spaces online? How might such technology be better understood in the teaching and learning context? What do we need to do now in order to better serve our students (and teachers!) of the future?