I really enjoy the conversation in educational technology that is so vibrant, generous and creative. I love places like #edchatie and the discussions (in truth, at times, they are acrimonious rows) that take place there. However, my role at work is to expand that conversation to a large proportion of the staff with whom I am working. It can seem that everybody is talking about educational technology, but what if that is the main topic of discussion among the people you talk to? How can the conversation be heard 'outside the echo-chamber?
A recent post from Donal O'Mahony on his blog E-Learning Island about teachers reading research prompted me to get it down on paper and share my thoughts. [New Year's resolution - you paid for the URL, you may as well starting using it!]
Coincidently, considering this is on an educational blog, he describes the 'echo-chamber' effect.
[In line 1, I think 'social media' can easily be replaced by 'educational technology'.]
As such, many...are in the distorted position of having formed opinions of social media mainly through their own personal use of it. For instance much of the enthusiasm for blogging in education stemmed notably from educational bloggers writing entries on educational blogs about the benefits of educational blogging.
That these debates were rarely heard (and rarely taken seriously) outside of the educational 'blogosphere' is perhaps not surprising. Yet, the limited actual use of blogs was all too easy to lose sight of amidst the 'echo-chamber' effect that derived from the small but frenetic community of educational bloggers who noisily preaching what they practised.
I have long felt that some educational technologists are eager to perpetuate a 'them' and 'us'mentality - positioning themselves in outsider roles of being know-all mavericks who somehow get technology in a way that the masses do not.
How do we help our colleagues outside the echo-chamber listen in to the conversation? Should we even try?