Sense making and censorship

January 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I was in college, my favorite professor would ensure us that it was OK that we had no idea which end is up, because understanding history is like nailing jelly to the wall.  In my historiography class, he told us this so often that we conspired to make him actually attempt to nail jelly to the wall, producing an extra large iron nail, a hammer and a packet of jelly from the cafeteria.

I’ve been reminding myself of this lately, as I’m trying to make sense of the goals of education.  As pointed out by Jerrid Kruss in Teaching as a Dynamic Activity, goals do not equal the phrases that we name them with.  I agree that labels are slippery things.

I’ve also been pondering about what technology integration means, and what education should look like. Believe me, for a non-teacher, this is a difficult topic to wrap your brain around. Here are a few things that have gotten my brain firing lately:

A TEDxNYED talk by Jeff Jarvis, and the response by Teaching as a Dynamic Activity, and Dan Meyer. George Siemens in his TEDxNYED talk. This post, among others, by TeachPaperless.

Particularly in the Gary Siemens video, I’ve found some phrases that appealed to me: “authentic information interrogation systems,” “the combat for lucidity”, “the act of showing others how we are learning is an instructional task” [this is the value of blogging].

I thought that these posts such as these may benefit others who are thinking about technology, education, and how they interact.  Last week, I shared Jarvis’ talk with a Diigo group I belong to.  Or, I should say, belonged.  When I went to share a TeachPaperless post today, I found that I was no longer a member.  When I tried to contact the owner of the group to find out why, I found that I was blocked from contacting him.  I can only assume the rather brazen title of Jarvis’ talk prompted this.  I must add that nowhere in the Diigo group were any rules posted about content sharing.

I wrote to the owner of the group (it was easy enough to find an email address, along with the rest of his online presence) apologizing for offending him, but justifying my actions of sharing a thought-provoking blog post.  I have yet to hear back.

***Update*** I have heard back.  Apparently, given the title of the post I shared and the fact that he didn’t recognize my name, the owner of the group assumed I was a spammer.  Apparently, the group is also mostly meant for a certain user base. This is interesting, since I think I shared quite a bit with this group over the past year or so (I can’t check because my items were also deleted from the group), and because the group is open to all Diigo members.  But at this point, it doesn’t look to necessarily be censorship, but rather an unfortunate misunderstanding (on both sides).


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