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Social media for Everyman? Not so sure…

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com) 10/25/10

I made the following response to Ewen McIntosh blog entry on

Social media for Everyman? Not so sure…

http://edu.blogs.com/edublogs/2008/01/social-media-fo.html

Yeah – I guess academia doesn’t like the fact that we can “learn” outside of their “formal” academic setting. It might give “everyman” a voice in their exclusive club, if this keeps up, we will just be able to learn without paying for it, oh yeah we still need that piece of sheepskin–such a pity…sarcarsm…or is that satire?

You said a lot when you said

“Everyman is getting a chance to have a think about these issues in a pretty intelligent forum, and pushing the thinking of ‘established’ education social media folk into something we’ve not really tackled properly with the larger public. Far from elitist Oxford-style debate, I’ve never seen these issues being discussed by as many from outside the elitist club of edubloggers (where you clearly speak at your peril).

How else would a second career – teacher from a small town in the middle of Maine, certified as a teacher through an alternative teaching certificate process, actually be able to comment on something this intellectually stimulating?

WOW! I can’t believe that I was actually able to say that. “humor”

Many of us may not have the academic credentials of some writers, PD presenters or the so-called educational elites, but we do provide a level of common sense of what actually works, in the trenches that sometimes is simply overlooked or ignored.

So while some out there may look down their noses at my feeble attempts to join into their conversations, I am actually having fun putting my opinions out there. I am not always right and know that when I am being dumb, that I will be called on it – and rightly so.

Getting submissions/posts shot down or validated is part of the process in this social learning environment that has been created for us and perhaps that is what the academic elite’s are having difficulty with. When they post out here readers people don’t put them on a pedestal and kowtow to their every thought. Perhaps they are too often challenged in this semi-anonymous environment where they do not have the perogative of flunking, poorly grading or telling someone to leave, to those that dare to question their lectures.

I do not ever claim to know as much as someone who has worked hard to earn their credentials, (I am not an expert at anything and gladly admit it, but I do enjoy learning, even as a member of the 50’s generation) but at the same time…once in a while I get lucky and pull a decent thought out of my @$$. The old sailor coming out in me. “humor”

Perhaps I misread/misunderstood some or all of this debate and went way off on a tangent, I probably focused too much on one paragraph of your post, but as you can see it really struck a cord to me. If I did and get shot down, because I totally bombed what was trying to be communicated to me, I won’t take it too personally and will use it as a social learning opportunity to read posts more closely next time. Good night and good luck. — Harold

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