I came across a blog that talks about the uses of blogs as a learning tool. (https://www.weblogg-ed.com/) It has some interesting posts and resources. Some of the info is practical, some philosophical. One post gets right to the issue of epistemology and the extent to which educators are the gatekeepers of knowledge. A summary of an interview with David Weinberger, excerpted below, was posted by Will R. on June 28.
"The idea, then, that the best curriculum is set by one person or entity is "hugely problematic." In fact, he said, knowledge has been a social experience forever, and to try to remove that aspect from it "drains the blood" from it. Humans can't get to perfection as the Web has made abundantly clear. So we have to stop trying to fit everyone into the same scope of knowledge. Making the change to a time when schools stop evaluating how individual students remember knowledge and instead evaluate how groups of students construct knowledge is going to take a generation, he said.
( . . . ) This is not easy stuff for educators in general, I think, the idea that we don't own the knowledge. It's what is making it so hard for many schools to adopt these tools in the first place."
Ouch! Are we really such a bunch of control freaks? This caught my attention because whereas I like for students to have a lot of responsibility for what and how they learn, I can't help but be thankful for having been "stuffed" with a certain amount of knowledge in school. Would I have known to colloborate with students to "construct" valid knowledge during my long apprenticeship as a student? This is an oversimplification, of course, since people have different learning styles and motivations for learning. But the internet has revolutionized the dissemination of knowledge like nothing since the printing press and we educators will be sorting out the implications for a long time to come. I'll definitely be following this discussion, with an open mind and a dose of skepticism. I'm planning to assign some weblog writing in a French composition class this fall. Anybody have any advice? I'll let y'all know how the experiment goes . . .