I’ve noticed lately that it seems the edublogosphere is beginning to show more signs of maturing and is looking less like an echo chamber. While I have no clear data I can point to several discussions of late that engage both sides of an issue in some fairly poignant debate.
At times, the debate gets a little personal and less professional than it ought to be but sometimes when passionate people get going, it can get a little uncomfortable but I’m hoping most of these disputes get sorted out or at least come to some understanding about agreeing to disagree. Some might not really be considered battles as much as asking bloggers to clarify their position. This is also another cry for readers to be sure to read the comments as much as the posting itself.
Here are some battles of the past few months that I’ve either commented on or observed:
- Christian Long and Chris Lehmann vs the Arkansas writer
- Terry Freedman vs. Darren Kuropatwa on Twitter (a minor joust but still important)
- Gary Stager and David Thronburg vs. David Warlick on Going Simple
- Stager vs. Warlick on Information Change
- Tom Hoffman vs. Gary Stager on not having a blog
- Hoffman challenging Karl Fisch on his facts for Did You Know
- Stager vs. Will Richardson on OLPC
- To watch TV or not watch TV debate
These are some samplings of good debate and I’m sure there are much better ones or ones I’ve forgotten. If you have some examples of good debate, please leave me a comment.
The thing for me is that is shows that as bloggers become more comfortable with their own writing and beliefs, they can expect to be challenged more. I think David Warlick is at times a bit of a punching bag for some and yet David is willing to continue to throw out ideas and isn’t afraid of the challenge. I’m assuming he relishes the fact that others continue to read him. Tom Hoffman and Gary Stager continue to be naysayers for many ideas and I think this is a good thing. We all need to be better at challenging each other and for many of us this is difficult because of our tendency to want to be nice all the time.
This is a good thing but at the same time the niceties of educators when they are inviting others to engage in conversations will not always be there as we develop ideas and beliefs that have depth. This really isn’t unlike our relationships offline as those who are our true friends will challenge our thinking at times and even strongly disagree. The litmus test for these relationships come with being able to maintain a respect for each other despite our disagreements. As educators I think we have a greater obligation to blog in a more professional manner than the average citizen; just as we need to live more exemplary lives in the community.
Image: The Honeymooners