Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘connections

Yesterday I rambled on why too much of a good thing is bad. Today I reflect on why too little of a good thing is also bad.

42/365 - feeling low by jypsygen, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  jypsygen 

Unlike mine, Steve Wheeler’s blog is always a quality read. That is why it is one of my must-have RSS feeds.

Using RSS is a bit old school. So is taking the trouble to comment on a blog entry.

Wheeler recently shared the number of views and comments his top five blog entries of 2014 generated.

I calculated the percentage of commenters over viewers to illustrate how rarely people bother to comment or reply.

  • No. 1: Learning first, technology second, 22 comments, 8602 views (0.26% comments)
  • No. 2: Flipping the teacher, 16 comments, 6082 views (0.26% comments)
  • No. 3: Education, schooling and the digital age, 07 comments, 5872 views (0.12% comments)
  • No. 4: Watch and learn, 00 comments, 5688 views (0% comments)
  • No. 5: Vygotsky, Piaget and YouTube, 20 comments, 5586 views (0.36% comments)

Perhaps a decade ago, an edublogger might be fortunate to get one out of a hundred readers to say something. Now an edublogger with a large following might settle for one in a thousand.

A few caveats to the numbers.

  • The number of comments might include Wheeler’s own replies, so the number of commenters might actually be lower.
  • The low percentages are also exacerbated by the high number of views. If the top post garnered 860 views (one-tenth of the actual readership), the percentage would shoot up to 2.6%.
  • Comments and conversations on the blog entries on other channels (Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.) might not have been included.

This illustration is with just one anecdotal case. But I think I have selected a good example of the phenomenon I am highlighting.

This is not a slight on Wheeler not drawing comments because most edubloggers do not write specifically for views or comments. They share because they care.

This is about readers and lurkers who do not give back by critiquing ideas. This is about taking ideas and running away with them without saying thank you. This is about a culture of mute consumerism.

Too little of good things like online civility, connections, and content co-creation are bad. So here is another thought: How well do cyber “wellness” programmes address that?

I maintain a Posterous site on a whim and I posted two text-based visuals there recently.

The first was Steve Jobs’ recipe for creativity: The ability to join the dots.

Click to see larger version


Jobs’ idea of creativity might be prescriptive. It is something you can DO.

But being creative is also something you ARE, as this other quotable quote illustrates.

The creative adult is the child who survived


So don’t kill the child inside our kids. Let us really educate our learners; don’t just school them.

It never ceases to amaze me how people find ways to connect 140 characters at a time with Twitter. Read how Karl Fisch did so at The Fischbowl: How Many People in Your Family?

Maybe one day I’ll have the same reach as he does!

Stressed?At this point of the academic semester, I know that many of my pre-service teachers will start feeling the stress. How do I know?

In part because the redesigned ICT course requires a lot of critical content to be covered over two weeks. I have opted to lighten the load somewhat by assigning groups to just two pedagogical approaches and to eventually create references using the wiki book approach.

I also know that the stress levels may be going up based on their blog entries.

Ari felt the heat and was honest about it. But I’d remind her and others who have similar feelings that I do not expect them to absorb everything in such a short period of time. Such learning is not meaningful. Engaged learning takes place over a longer period of time. This is another reason why I got them to the edit their own wikis: To engage them when they were more ready and when they had a bit more time.

But I am also very encouraged to note that others like Serene are beginning to make connections with topics from previous weeks and my blog AND are looking ahead as well. This is evidence of taking ownership of learning and the power of reflective learning!

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