Blogs and Education

My brainiac boss Bill‘s skeptical:

They are essentially optimized for easily publishing one’s opinions on the web. This is fundamentally a flawed model for education. It promotes narcissism, not dialog.

and

A blog is the online equivalent to having students take turns reading a paper for 20 minutes and then asking one or two people their thoughts. What we need is to model the seminar, where students dialog about a question and build on each others’ knowledge…. The heart of learning is dialog, and when we are teaching online, we should use tools that support dialog as a centerpiece of our online classes.

That is something I’ve run into with my teleclasses. Running a teleclass with a handful of participants is a lot different than with over a dozen. There’s a bigger sense of teamwork with the group and collaborative learning. I think participants in a large group are more likely to stick to the learning map and make the time for the group calls – they don’t want to let the group down. With a small teleclass group there is more attention to each individual learner – but less ‘group momentum’ towards a shared goal.
As usual, Bill hits the nail on the head which is why I’m working for the smartest people on the planet (except for maybe Google or Pixar).

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