David Warlick on Blogging and Community Building
Tacking on to my recent post on Community, it seemed worthwhile to dredge this on out of my aging blog post drafts: Blog Together -- David Warlick
t any rate, we're here to talk about community building. "Te He!" We're teachers. We're professionals. We have a critical task, to shape futures through the skills and knowledge that we help our students to learn. Our job is perhaps the most information-intensive occupation there is, and a large part of what makes us successful are the skills and experiences that we gain on the job. A perfect setting for a networked community.
Why is establishing valuable, interactive, and information-rich communities among front-line teachers so difficult? Just ask any teacher you know. "When am I going to have time to participate in an online community?" I have to grade papers, write lesson plans, conduct research, attend committee meetings, attend staff development -- and these are the things I do after the school day is over.
I do not have an easy answer. There is no easy answer. The hard answer is to redefine what it means to be educated in an information-driven, technology-rich world, and rewrite the curriculum, restructure the school day, reinvent what it is to be a teacher and a student, and retool classrooms for 21st century teaching and learning. Our current track only helps us to do a better job of preparing kids for the 1950s.
Alright! I'm supposed to be talking about community-building. It occurs to me, that the bottom line for the success of any community, live or online, is that it helps its members solve a problem, or problems. In the case of teachers, it must help them do their jobs. Teachers will adopt a technology or technique if it helps them do their job. However, do I really want to help teachers to assure that every child can read...at the expense of social studies, science, higher order thinking... OK! Off subject again.
Read the rest!