Saturday, December 30, 2006

Groups...Networks does it really matter?

Bud Hunt has written a post. It talks about the the proliferation of groups and networks on in the blogosphere.

Here is some of what he has to say....

I'm noticing a proliferation of niche groups emerging in the edu'sphere -- groups of young folks, groups of women, etc. Something about this is rubbing me the wrong way -- but I can't quite put my finger on what it is.
I certainly admire the time and effort that people are putting into helping others find their way in the forest that is the Internet. But is their enough added value in these different subgroups, particularly among bloggers that are already networked, that makes their existence an asset rather than a collection of subdivisions, new walls keeping people separate? At what point does joining a group mean closing a door, rather than opening one? Or does it ever mean that at all? (I think that it does, sometimes.) Does the creation of lots of new groups lead to a further formalization of these spaces that are informal learning places? Are we perpetuating old ways of doing things in new spaces?

Here was my response to what he had to say.....

Hi I am a member of WOW. I joined because people who I respect and admire are taking the time to inform people who want to know about pedagogy and interesting tools to make teaching better for todays youth. I am a male who just wants to teach better.

WOW to my knowledge was created by 4 friends who wanted a place to share their experiences in the classroom. I have been an active participant in their post and pre skype shows.

The new net is a place where your creativity improves when you get a synergistic energy working with friends. Connecting with people from everywhere allows for a better finished project.

Groups/networks...... if it makes us push the boundaries of what we are willing to do and improve the education of todays youth then so be it.

If I recall the K12online conference was considered a group by some people. Look at all the good that has come and is still coming out of this Conference.

Thanks for a great post. I hope that teachers and bloggers everywhere just push the bar higher and show new and great things to do with our students.
People put up flags when they are worried about groups. I know Graham has written about it in the past and Stephen Downes has also written about it. If a group turns out to be a bad thing and influence in inappropriate ways then we need to take action.

I am of the opini0n that we need to collaborate as much as possible. Perhaps someone will correct me. If it makes us push the bar to new levels then the group, network has done its job.

As I have said already....k12online was considered a group by some. It has created change. Change for the good I think.

Thanks for reading. Bud thanks for making us think. Happy New Year.


Graham Wegner said...

Chris, you are probably fairly aware of my thoughts as expressed on my blog and over in the comments section of Darren's blog. I've added a few observations of my own over at Bud's blog after you. I do actually think that groups and networks are fundamentally different using my own definitions (and that's where opinions can differ) insofar that as soon as you start a blog and start linking and commenting and subscribing and posting, you have started creating your own network, and as soon as you start posting and others start reading and remixing and subscribing and commenting on your blog, you've become part of their network. You can't control that part. Groups have much more structure and I am not saying they are not useful, just sometimes, they exclude as much as they try to include. And while on the topic of my opinion, the K-12 Conference was definitely not a group - it was an organised event that has had lots of networking opportunities and yes, may have also given birth to a number of groups.
I'm not much putting up flags as wondering what extra benefits groups bring to the table. Thanks for your thoughts on this topic, Chris, and hope this adds something to your thinking.

Mr. H said...

Thanks Graham for commenting. I understand you views and appreciate you taking the time to comment on my post.

I feel that groups if they are formed and used in the right ways will create new and better ways to use 2.0. I hope that they will be inclusive to all that wish to partake in the experience.

I love networking with all the people I have met. Thanks it keeps the mind fresh and churning out new ideas.