Above is a slidecast of a talk I gave to a JISC Emerge conference recently entitled ‘Finding the sweet spot between web 2 and education’. My basic argument is that new tools encourage this overlap between areas we used to keep distinct, for instance home and work,personal and professional, individual and institution. A lot of people see this as a ‘bad thing’, but I think it has enormous potential also. Why do I spend time blogging or in twitter? Because it is both fun and work, because it’s social and professional. I wouldn’t bother to spend as long in a discussion forum of educational technologists who only talked about ed tech. Yet, most of my twitter network are people associated with ed tech, and I spend a bit of time in there every day. Why? Because it helps me professionally (it’s how I keep up to date, I can put out queries, I create a network of peers, etc), but also because it’s social – we chat about football, films, etc and share jokes, have chats, etc.
And that’s just one example of the sweet spot – creating my edupunk video was, for me, another. I created it over a weekend, and it was kind of work, but mainly fun. It was partly for me, but also a gift to the community (whether they wanted it or not). This was much more motivating than doing something purely for its own sake, e.g. writing a report for a committee. I argue that making learning a gift economy is something we should foster.
The ideas are a bit ill-formed at the moment, but I think there’s something in this, so want to explore it further.