Something weird is happening on Twitter right now.
Check it out in the stream of comments that follow this Dean Shareski tweet:
I’m suspect of educators whose entire feed is a cacophony of pithy quotes and advice. They must spend hours thinking up that stuff. For some maybe it’s helpful, I find it lacks a little humanity. Perhaps I need to lighten up.
— Dean Shareski (@shareski) December 28, 2018
Do you see what it is?
A REAL CONVERSATION! With some intellectual give and take. With people expanding on one another’s thoughts. With people offering differing viewpoints. With a few lighthearted jokes added to the mix to make everyone smile while wrestling with an important idea.
What if we tried to do that kind of thing more often?
What if instead of using social spaces to simply share content, we made a New Year’s Resolution to engage in more conversations with one another? What if we made a commitment to ask more provocative questions or to play the Devil’s Advocate more often?
What if we promised that for every inspirational quote we share, we will ALSO respond to something shared by one of our thought partners in a genuine attempt to start a conversation?
Wouldn’t we all learn a little bit more if conversations like the one that broke out in response to Dean’s tweet were the norm rather than the exception to the rule in our social spaces?
And isn’t figuring out how to use social spaces for something more than inspiration one of the reasons that the notion of “personal learning networks” resonates with educators so much?
Aren’t we trying to figure out how to help our students leverage the power of networks to learn more effectively and efficiently? Does that REALLY happen when all we are doing is liking and retweeting edufuzzies at one another?
Just wondering out loud here.
And wishing that social spaces were about something more than building an audience.
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