Is This The Right Room For An Argument?
I had a really unpleasant experience recently when I was called on to defend Learning2.0 in the face of some very harsh and flawed criticism. Whilst my protagonists had some good points, they were also profoundly lacking in knowledge of the read/write web and its potential…
I only wish I’d known about Marshall Kirkpatrick’s January article about objections and responses to Social Media Adoption as he makes a very persuasive case for why the tools are worth investing time and effort into them. Admittedly, he is looking at them from a business point of view, but the points he discusses are equally as relevant in the field of education. I was especially taken with his fourth point:
customers‘pupils/students/teachers’ don’t use this stuff, the learning curve limits its usefulness to geeks.
You might be surprised to learn how many of your
customers‘pupils/students/teachers’ do already use these new tools. Even more will do so in the future.
The best designed tools are designed like good games – you can get small rewards right away and then learn more advanced skills to win bigger rewards. Among online services that are intended for general audiences, only poorly designed ones are too geeky.
Many of these tools provide value vastly disproportionate to the literal number of people they reach. These are like high-value focus groups where you’ll gather information and preparation to engage with the rest of the world.
As I have done above, by replacing the word ‘customers’ with pupils/students/teachers as necessary, we get right into the education debate. The problem we have is convincing others that the tools are worth pursuing, but Kirkpatrick correctly points out that ‘Some of these things, RSS and wikis for example, aren’t passing social fads – they are emerging best practices and the state of the art.’ (My emphasis) Isn’t this what it’s all about? Sharing best practice and modeling cutting-edge solutions?
If you want some points to make to your colleagues and managers, you could do worse than read and adapt Kirkpatrick’s article. Well worth the time it takes to read it…