Learning technologists (the ones you read the blogs of) are an odd little group. In some ways many of them provide a valuable service to all of us working with technology and learning but in other ways some of them only really serve as an emetic.
There seem to be two things that learning technologists like writing about.
First of all, obviously, they like to write about themselves. I’m not being snarky when I say that (plenty of time for snark elsewhere) … that is what they have to write about. They have built their careers around sharing their thoughts and opinions and informing us about what they have seen and experienced. That is why we read what they write.
Secondly, and more specifically, they like to write about whatever app / device / widget / social software / gadget that is flavour of the month / week / day. Again this is what they do and again is why we read them. We can’t all read and trial everything, so we rely on blogging learning technologists to filter and digest it for us first.
In doing this, these learning technologists can start to be indicators of trends. They can show what is up and what is down in the world of learning tech and other such stuff. Some of them have even become slightly influential, in certain respects to some people !
It is not all good though … quite a few of them I have deleted cheerfully from my news reader (see how up to date I am ?) as I cannot bear to have my brain sullied by their inane chatter and endless, nauseating self-aggrandisement any more.
Two who still have my attention however, are:
They both talk sense (mostly) and Alan finds and uses some great images.
They have both written posts recently (co-incidently, or is this a trend forming ?) on social media and how the shine is wearing off a bit for them.
Alan writes rather critically of Facebook (as he is not a fan of walled gardens and feels that Facebook is quick enough to accept goodies from other sources and extremely reluctant to let them out again) but the main thrust of his post is that clicking the like button on something is easy enough, and posting the minutiae of your daily existence is great if that is what floats your boat, but if that is the limit of your on-line self expression and creativity … and you have no space for reflection or producing something less transitory and more substantial … then that is rather sad.
George considers yet another social network being produced (Google+) and how it might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back. He equates social media with emotion … and blogging, writing and transparent scholarship with intellect. He says that Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are secondary media. He even draws an analogy with reality TV and Fox News. Fighting talk. He declares his (at least partial) withdrawal from them.
What do you think ? Is the shine still there ? Has the shiny toy matured into a much deeper and more meaningful tool ? How do you use social media now ? Do you use it for the flow ? Do you make a virtue of the transitory nature of it and just accept it ? To you, is it neither good nor bad … merely a tool ? Let us know …