A different kind of digital divide: Putts Corollary and edublogging

On June 2nd, BG posted the paper she presented at the First Ever UK Edublogging Conference. As always, she brings up some compelling issues and provides the edubloggers out there with a rallying cry when she writes:

We edubloggers have to get our acts together, as you are doing here by gathering at this conference, forming communities amongst ourselves to lay out the direction. We’ve got to get the word out, show models, examples, proof-that means everyone of us needs to blog, to participate in such groups as teachersteachingteachers.org communicating about what we are doing in our classrooms and why, when things work and when they don’t; we must pull our colleagues aside and talk about the complex of new literacies and how they intersect with the old, about connected learning ecologies, about creating bridges and bonds within and between our communities. We must listen as much as we talk. We must reach out to one another. We must risk failure.

Indeed, this is true…especially for those of out here who are trying to use these new tools in academic disciplines that use a language other than English, i.e. second language acquisition (I will write more later about why/how these tools present a different set of questions and challenges for language learning in anticipation of a talk I have been asked to give later in the summer).

But it is not just the edubloggers who need to link together and work together and explore the possibilities that these tools can provide. We edubloggers need to, imho, make sure that the people in our institutions who make the tech decisions (and who have the access as well as the purse strings for those decisions) are also convinced. Without their buy in (both literally and figuratively), we edubloggers have no (or at least less than reliable) access and ultimately no voice.

Returning to Putt’s Corollary:

Putt’s Corollary: Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand

If you are an edublogger at an academic institution and are indeed fortunate enough to have an IT department that understands the educational technology that it manages, –and– keeps the access to these tools open (that is: not behind a password or a CMS/LMS)… then I believe that you, my friend, are quite lucky.

I would be interested in hearing from edubloggers about their relationships with their institutions’ IT departments … are you forging alone, supporting your own sites and working, as it were, independently of your school’s IT department , and yet staying under the school’s radar (and thus living Putts’ Corollary), or are they encouraging you to be the one to take chances, try new things?

I would appreciate hearing more from each of you on this subject…

Barbara has been working for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for about 15 years. In addition to teaching Spanish she runs a somewhat unconventional language center. Prior to this adventure in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and watch the Red Sox. Preferably not all at once, although that could be interesting. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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