As a part of ds106 (the best digital storytelling class ever, guaranteed to blow your mind), I recently had the pleasure to converse with @alanliddell, @shannotate, and @cherylcolan. We each posed one “big question” related to the course, and then proceeded to dissect it in every way possible for close to an hour. Topics covered include the purpose and value of community, the future of media, the role of media and pop culture in education, and using threats and ultimatums to get what you want. Although I’m thoroughly well mannered through the entire podcast, I do toss out a couple of big bombshells that might surprise some. For instance, I’m ok if students aren’t writing to express themselves as long as they can still think and react critically through various forms of media.
If you’re confused as to why we’re sitting around a campfire, and who in the world Dr. Oblivion is and why we’re conjecturing as to his whereabouts, it’s all part of the meta role playing game we’re experiencing as a part of ds106.
If you are brave enough to listen to the entire discussion, I’d love to know some of your thoughts, but perhaps more importantly, I loved the fact that I’m the only K-12 educator in the discussion. Alan and Shannon are both college students, and Cheryl is a higher ed instructor in the area of digital media. While there were many things that we agreed on throughout the conversation, it was nice to at least reach out of my typical circle of ed-tech advocates and fellow educators. In fact, I’m willing to go on record that if you aren’t consciously seeking out input, dialogue, and meaningful conversation outside your usual followers on Twitter or your PLN then you’re putting yourself at high risk of developing “echo chamber syndrome“, in which good ideas quickly turn to “not so great” ideas, but only seem fantastic because so many people around you are espousing the benefits of some new technological tool, strategy, or edu-thought.
So as parting words, I leave you with one simple, and practical piece of homework…..seek out substantive conversation about a topic intrinsic to education with someone from a different walk of life before the summer is out, and no fair talking about the “sorry state of public schools” either, unless you’re willing to honestly listen to someone’s opinions without jumping down their throat.