Will Richardson is blogging about once per week now. In April, he wrote a totlal of 6 posts. In April of 2007, he wrote 27. Andy Carvin wrote 1 post in February, 2009 and 7 in February of 2007. David Jakes went from 8 (April, 2007) to 2 (April, 2009). What happened? Where have all the bloggers gone?
I suppose the answer is Twitter. And that upsets me, because in the course of that transition, what has happened to the conversation? We’ve gone from expansive, probing reflection to 140-character platitudes, from the symposium to the water cooler. This is definitely the English teacher in me speaking, but I fear that Twitter is robbing us of a great opportunity to think through writing, a shift which will most harm students, who stand to learn a great deal through blogging. I think there is a synergy between the higher-order thinking skills that educators so value and desire and blogging; I just don’t see that same synergy with tweets.
It’s not that there’s no place for the kind of rapid fire, conversational interchange that Twitter supports; there most definitely is. But I hate to see it elbowing the kind of rich discourse that blogs engender out of the way. Seeing this happen only proves what the most fervent critics of educational innovations complain about: we run to the “next big thing” before we’ve had a chance to master the last one and before it has taken hold in a systemic way in classrooms.
I hope that maybe when the excitement over Twitter dies down, some of our best bloggers – and our developing bloggers, too – get back to the longer stuff. We need it!
Image Source: DigitalParadox, http://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalparadox/16900939/sizes/s/#cc_license