Well, it is Friday afternoon, and for many teachers holidays are in session, so we might as well get this reflection party started eh?
Seriously, I have been having some possibly paradigm altering thoughts, about social networking in particular. If you dig this scene, please read on!
- Networks that are ‘free and open’ (i.e. Twitter, Facebook) seem democratic, because everyone can ‘have their say’. But what power plays are still at work? What NEW power plays are we constructing that we’re going to have to undo/amend/atone for later?
- Social networks enable fast and efficient communication. But if you can publish your thoughts too fast, without reflection, is the noise that this generates worth the pay off? We are evangelistic about the benefits…but are we ignoring the costs (the drain on our own limited energy and focus in particular as we act as information filters)?
- Networks are being constructed (thinking especially of the Facebook issue here…but anything with an avatar and a bio could be seen to go down this road) that invite identity construction. We post photos, preferences, ideas, affiliations…identity capital (?) But are we muddying the waters of constructing a generative PLN when our communications are so entwined with our personal identity construction?
- Are the ‘big players’ – the people with many followers – throwing around their identity capital? Or are they using a cutting edge technology to be leaders?
- Are ‘great minds’ being devoured as they try to stay on top of the network (with the best of intentions – wanting to share and be open with others) and lead others? At what point are we no longer ‘paying it forward’, and just ‘forwarding’…or, ‘paying it back’. My online PLN has helped me to develop in so many ways…am I indebted to it? Am I obliged to stay and lead it? How can I nourish my own development?
- As a reflective practitioner, am I generating too much out put, and not getting enough input? Am I making/hearing thoughts…or just noise?
Honestly folks, I don’t know where this is all going. But yes, after some consideration, I decided to write a blog post about it. Because no matter where this line of thinking ends up, I highly doubt it will dull my appreciation of irony.