Blogs are great for conversations, but often fall off the radar screen when they go beyond the first page and are left dangling.

One of the older conversations here is about Aliant’s connection speed. I had some woes with my ISP, which were finally addressed after a year of complaints and figuring out if anyone else had similar problems. My recent problems with Skype (last post) may be related to my ISP and it seeems that others have problems with Aliant’s service, namely that XBox live doesn’t work with their fastest service.

The homework question has garnered a lot of comments, as had earlier posts on homeschooling. Most of us have gone though the public education system and many have an opinion. I have come to believe that the core of the problem is an education system that was created for very different reasons than what we need today. Many “educational” activities are ineffective or counter-productive to learning, yet they continue based on tradition instead of sound science. If the evidence shows that an activity has little purpose, then we should abandon it. Homework is only one activity that lacks evidence to support its continuance. Subject-based curriculum, age-based cohorts and reliance on unsound models like Bloom’s Taxonomy to prescribe learning activities are other examples. This conversation on homework has been picked up in the community and we may even have a radio spot in the near future.

There also have been some comments to an older post on Education’s Three Conflicting Pillars. It’s great to see new discussion after several months of quiet, which is why I keep comments open.

This week there were some updates to the state of the NB elearning industry, thanks to Ben. Companies come and companies go, but many of us choose to stay. I’m on my third business card since I retired from the Army in 1998.

Finally, I’d like to quote Shawn, at Anecdote, on the importance of conversation, “… most learning comes through interacting with people. Learning richness increases as multiple perspectives are described, discussed, challenged and explored.

6 Responses to “Conversations”

  1. Jon Husband

    “… most learning comes through interacting with people. Learning richness increases as multiple perspectives are described, discussed, challenged and explored.“

    “most” may be an understatement (and yes, I include learning to “do” things” here, as I think it’s almost impossible to understand what one may have done or built or created without other peoples’ feedback).

  2. Jeremiah

    Interesting post — think I’ll join the ‘conversation.’

    I believe in the power of conversation, but have some concerns lest the word become the latest platitude or automatic response. I’ve noticed, for instance, that Democratic candidates for US President are clamoring over each other to talk about ‘being part of of the national conversation.’

    I read ‘Naked Conversations’ and the next week found myself recommending it to a customer service representative from Brinks (problem with VOIP) after finding myself frustrated with his agents.

    I’ve begun blogging not too long ago and at times have found myself wondering whether or not my posts are interesting enough to entice others to ‘join the conversation.’ Of course, I’ve also found myself quite often reading something through my bloglines feeds (your blog is the latest addition) thinking, ‘That’s interesting, but I’m really busy.’ I’m beginning to think that a responsibility inherent to really using this medium well is to be disciplined about responding when something strikes a chord.

    Anyhow, you often do just that for me. Thanks. I am a public school administrator and your thoughts on unschooling are opening up new lines of thought for me.


  3. Harold

    Welcome to the “conversation”, Jeremiah. I have the same self-doubts and regularly ask what the hell I’m doing here. I appreciate your candor and welcome you here. I find this whole “bloggy” thing like a stream, and it takes a while to get into the flow.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. Jennifer Nicol

    Yes, I hope the word ‘conversation’ does not become cheapened through its new internet application, as we are seeing with the word ‘friend’.

    Watched a charming presentation last week by a university student introducing the old fogies in the audience to Facebook. Introducing the term ‘friend’ she said, “these are my Facebook friends. I mean, they’re not like a go-to-the-movies-friend, they’re a Facebook friend. I mean, sometimes they might become a go-to-the-movies-friend but not usually’.

    (I might be paraphrasing a bit here).

  5. Colin Busby

    Hey Harold, just a quick note about Aliant. Not that I ever like to defend them, but at my apartment we have the Aliant High Speed Ultra, or whatever they call it (their fastest service). I use Xbox Live almost everyday, and it works perfectly. Also, I know you have been having issue with Skype, but it seems to work fairly well for me. Granted, I don’t use it very often at all, but when I do it seems to be fine.

  6. Harold

    I can see the misuse of the word conversation, as well as dialogue, Jennifer. Perhaps it’s better to use new terms, like blogs, that don’t have other connotations, when describing new ways of communicating on the Web.

    Colin, I’m beginning to feel that my problem may be that I’m too far from the switch, but I highly doubt that I’ll ever get that admission from Bell-Aliant.


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