For those of you following my blog, I will be posting one post every weekday throughout the month of August. One of my colleagues here at Penn State stated that he was going to do this and asked who was interested in joining and it turns out that a bunch of us were interested!
So, every weekday in August there will be a blog post from me – hopefully all worth reading.
Today’s topic is “Discussion”.
There are a lot of people discussing the same things related to social networking, social media and education these days, it seems. Everywhere I turn I see another paper, blog post or conversation all following these same ideas. Sometimes it catches me by surprise when I see a post from someone that’s related to something that we’ve been discussing here on campus. I guess sometimes I forget that we don’t live in our little vacuum and things we’re talking about are things that are being talked about all over the world really.
And that’s the point.
Social media *IS* a discussion and it’s a discussion around a million different topics with a million different viewpoints, experiences and perspectives from a blajillion different people. Not one of these viewpoints is better or more important than the other, and without all of them then there’s no discussion at all because it becomes a lecture. When I was in college, ‘lecture’ was the thing to do. To be taught we had to sit down, shut up, take notes in our notebook and then spit that all back out on test day. Did I learn anything? Eh, maybe.. but I certainly wasn’t passionate about it.
I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve learned more through technology, connections and discussions than I’ve learned at any conference, seminar or in any classroom. Why? Because it’s a discussion, not a lecture. When I can participate, ask questions, have my eyes opened and see things differently – not only have I learned something, but I’ve changed my perceptions. I’ve changed who I am as a person every single time that happens.
That’s powerful stuff right there.