Avoiding the Echo
. . . much easier (it is) in this tech-enamored ‘sphere of ours to write those posts than it is to criticize them. I’m not saying my rejoinders don’t demand a more objective tone (I’m saying the opposite) just that, having exhumed a lot of dusty blog posts the last few days, a lot of people seem less offended by my tone and more offended that someone bothered to contradict their majority opinion.
I think he’s right and I’m glad to hear he’s working on his tone (just a little- generally I find him funny) because I see his ideas as rock solid and it’s too easy to end up dismissing ideas because of things like tone.
I’m thinking of the stock edtech conference. Why not have debate style presentations on the topics? It’s an idea that’s old as dirt but edtech conferences tend to just have one point of view presentations. Why not a timed debate style? Something with over the top titles like those below
- 1 to 1: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- Internet Safety: Pedophiles’ Playground or Digital Utopia?
- Digital Natives: Naive Name Calling or Nuclear Children?
I saw this done really well at our law school Friday. The two law professors wrote a humorous biographical introduction for their opponent. This starts things off in a positive way and gets people laughing. They referred to each other as “pathetic,” “monster,” etc.
They were supposed to argue for 13 minutes, 15 minutes then each would get a 3 minute rebuttal. The time was completely ignored by the first participant. I think this hurt things in the long run.
The point is you don’t really see this kind of point/counter point going on the edtech environment. It’d be interesting to see. I’d like to see it being done in blogs. The point being, the disagreements could be pleasant and even humorous rather than spiteful. That can be a hard line to walk but the conversation would be worthwhile and if done correctly it’d be pretty entertaining as well.
There might even be value in doing this in a fake way- really making the points black and white while ramping up the hyperbole. I think people would see pretty quickly that there is a whole lot more gray in this area than there seems to be.