Can the last person to leave the edublogosphere change the record, please?
I can actually understand why some people believe that nothing's happening to change the way kids actually learn in schools when we continue to blog, blog, blog about how UNimportant the tools are and how vital it is we start thinking about "what we can actually do with them". It's actually becoming quite fashionable to write your public blog abdication post because you're going to spend your time doing something, well, more noble, I guess.
Come on! Dave Winer is reminding us only this week about what he believed in 2003 the blog was designed to be for: not form, not content but finding and giving voice. Thanks to Adriana for pointing out the obvious, but using a tool for greater effect, for amplification, is a no-brainer. It's the whole damned point.
Just ask Loic Lemeur about the blog effect he's had in France, starting from scratch he has had the major part to play in getting one third of the nation blogging themselves and nearly everyone there reading blogs as part of their daily routine. I might not have expected it quite so first hand at the last conference I went to, but he also podcasts/vodcasts interviews with politicians, giving them video iPods (Robert Scoble has started vodcasting Edwards now, too), appears on mainstream TV to talk about what blogs can bring to the man in the street and how blogs can give Everyman back his (or her) own virtual revolutionary Bastille. How French. And he blogs every day to amplify that effect further.
And most teachers I know who don't blog, read blogs or know how to release the potential of this ecosystem are perfectly aware that something is going to have to give in what they are currently doing to keep their students motivated and engaged. Let's show them how important these tools really can be in achieving the goals to which all educators aspire: to have successful, confident, participating learners who understand and engage with the world around them.
I'm getting bored seeing posts in the edublogosphere about how unimportant blogs really are compared to the 'real world' out there. The real world is beautifully ignorant of the potential these tools have to improve the world we live in - and make it more comprehensible for our kids.
Instead, I'd like to see some real news on people's blogs about who they are lobbying at state and local level, how they are engaging parents with new pedagogies, what they are doing in their classrooms to engage kids more and whose attitudes they've managed to change. Merely droning on about how little difference the tools make without a change (what change?) in people's teaching isn't going to achieve a thing, au contraire...
Sharing what you are doing to change things in your neck of the woods will achieve something, allowing us to get good examples and coordinate advocacy the world over. And for that, we need blogs and all the rest.
Update: and more stories like this - a school which doesn't block anything, but educates its kids in what to use and what to avoid.