I Still like Edublogs

Here’s why I think blogging remains a useful experience for young children.

In the 1800s, the rapid industrialization of Britain gave rise to two nations. The working class and the political class. The political class read the Times, the working class (the reading public) had the Northern Star and the Poor Man’s Guardian. The latter, known as the pauper press, were physically attacked by the government: their premises raided, property seized and employees imprisoned.

Now remind me why technology has created political emancipation. It’s also worth pointing out they is no journalism without reaction (Hunter. S. Thompson) and that journalists see popular culture subjectively favoring sexual gossip, scandal and innuendo or objectively (to be featured and controlled).

Trying to combine journalism, culture and education is difficult because New media cannot readily escape older supplant older traditions. What has changed is the ability of ruling classes to raid the locations of citizen journalism and peer to peer social networks. The result is increasing surveillance and objective journalism which uses short turn truth. Politicians routinely change their views in the media without lasting effect on their credibility and the reading public is tweeting so fast nothing remains in the field of view for more than a few minutes unless it is scandalous, speculated our other rabble rousing muck.

If teachers are to instill digital literacy in children, they might also consider whether the media they consume is objective or subjective. Given keynote speakers often say their job is to get a reaction, then they are journalists.for I’d argue that children need to know about this, so that they are seen as part of a democratic process, rather than fiction.

While blogging isn’t as cool as it once was, it remains an essential media tool. Edublogs is more useful to children and society because it continue the tradition of journalism. Interestingly, Google documents continues the commercial ambition of office automaton.

I make this point because so much of what appears to food the educational technology feed is about which tool is better, rather than considering the reason your being told about it now. Commercial popularly is no real reason to introduce any technology to students.

Edublogs treats children as journalists who are able to create news and deliver it to the public. In an increasingly throw away culture, I still think edublogs (or blogs in general) because the journalist is able and willing to take advice. Culturally this is better than taking advice as judgement or being sucked into the sensationalism and rivalry of social media popularity contests.

Schools are not coffee shops nor are they an audition for popular culture festivals (conferences, conventions, meetings). It seems to me that all kids can learn a lot from being a journalist about their own topics, and learn nothing from being the subject of other people’s.

I’m not sure how old edublogs is now, but it’s still a great way to introduce kids to media and journalism.


Edublog Awards – oh dear

I was dissapointed to discover that the annual Edublogs Awards has not included a virtual world catagory, choosing to instead encourage people to add a nomination under social-networks. This further marginalises a valid medium in favour of adding popularist and meaningless things such as ‘best free tool’ or hashtag. Classroom 2.0 wins Best Social Network due to it’s size. And yet – games and virtual worlds have been one of the few ‘new’ inclusions at conferences this year, no longer in the back room, but on the main stage. Go figure.

Edublogs Awards 2010

Firstly, thanks to all who have kindly nominated me in some way. It is incredibly humbling to think people take the time to read this stuff. Secondly, thanks again to some very special people in my metaverse – the #permalist – @jokay, @heyjudeonline @akpc @kerryjcom @bronst @middleclassgirl @teacherman79 – without whom I would have bailed so many things, so many times this year, if not every year. These people not only support me, but also have a huge impact on my amazing kids. I am not therefore nominating them – as they are just too awesome. I’d also like to make mention of Gary Stager and Lee Colbert – who always brighten my mornings, when they cross swords in Twitter.

Edublog Awards 2010

Best individual blogDwell on It – Because Tateru is such a brilliant writer, and notices the gaps that matter in virtual worlds and games.
Best individual tweeter Ben Jones – Because he’s almost interesting enough to be a tank – or get fired whichever comes first.
Best group blogTELT UNSW – Because communication is about more than reporting or telling.
Best new blogBianca Hewes – Because Bianca tells it how it is, connects with kids and everything DET should hope to be in the next few years.
Best resource sharing blogAudrey Nay – It’s a typographic nightmare, but there’s stuff in here that I find interesting. I like eclectic.
Most influential blog post Remembering – Tateru’s post about herself and her father – haunting and inspiring.
Best teacher blogOllie Bray – Proving one person can make a huge dint in the thinking of systems – Game Based Learning Leader
Best educational tech support blogWe Fly Spitfires – I know its about gaming, but that is what it’s all about – a great, first person read about a guy and a helluva lot of toons.
Best educational podcastEd Tech Crew – if I have to listen to people talking edu on the radio – these guys do it brilliantly.
Best educational use of a virtual world Begonia Island – Lucy represents everything I could hope to see in a creative teacher.
Best use of a PLN – No such thing (apparently).
Lifetime achievementGrahame Wegner – one of the first blogs I ever read, and still asking great questions, with open, honest reflection.

There are many more – that I like, read and love that simply don’t fit the categories … but all these to me are selling more than the expected.