I love conferences. I’ve attended and spoken at hundreds of them. I relish the opportunity to spend time exchanges ideas and catching-up with old friends while meeting new ones. I welcome any opportunity to discuss powerful ideas with colleagues.
A large part of me would like to attend the upcoming Edubloggercon before NECC. I know that I am welcome there, but are my ideas?
The problem is that although I understand and use Web 2.0 tools, I am less sanguine about their potential to revolutionize education. I believe that the emphasis on using computers as information appliances represents a tiny portion of the computer’s power.
This and other important issues are worthy of debate, but I am not sure that Edubloggercon is the right venue for questioning the educational assumptions held by a good number of participants. Some colleagues identify so closely with the ethos of the blogosphere that any criticism of the software tools or classroom applications is interpreted as a personal attack. One educator wrote the following about me today,
I just believe the criticism, even if justified, was not done in the spirit and manner of a what I was taught an educator should do.
I respect Steve Hargadon and his efforts on behalf of Edubloggercon too much to generate unwanted dissent or be the skunk at the Edugarden party.
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is the author of Twenty Things to Do with a Computer – Forward 50, co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.