December 12, 2005

James Farmer gets stuck in

Self-constructed blog super-über-guru James Farmer got stuck into me today in a pretty poor verbal mashup of facts. He didn't approve of the lineup in the Les Blogs Education Panel. Most of what he's complaining about is what the others said, although through his blog post it looks like it's all me. Bravo on the libel, mate.

What he mosts objects to is my phrasing: "How many blogs are about run by teachers and professors? The answer is a disaster", which he also managed to quote out of context. Talk about accountability in blogging. Well, it has been and is still. In the last five months in Scotland at least we have seen the blogosphere triple/quadruple in education. It wasn't difficult to measure, although now there are edublogs popping up everywhere, most of which have started after talks by me, John, David or my colleagues at LTS.

James, having launched the domain names such as and, obviously feels that no-one else should be allowed to talk about blogging, and to hell with the Long Tail while we're at it.

Worse still, he goes off on one, apparently linking clamping down on school blogs with me and my copanelists. If you've ever read my posts you know that I am heavily into authentic, open comment blogging.

In any case, I left a comment on his post which you can all read to follow the discussion, if you can really be bothered.


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It still surprises me how much *noise* in academia (and this seems to have transfered to the blogosphere) is generated around the issue of who gets / deserves credit. I was recently 'told off' by Stephen Downes for not giving enough credit to others (or pehaps himself?), when an article I'd written explaining the potential of web2.0 (blogging, podcasting and social networks/aggregation) in education was published in the Guardian newspaper.

see my response here

The whole point of such writing (and much of the work I do) is to make all of this stuff more accessible to practicing teachers. Now Ewan (who does a better job than me) gets the same from James. Brilliant!

What an interesting exchange! Seems to have involved some self-reappraisal too - or perhaps increasing awareness that whan is written is more dangerous, often, than what is spoken (unless, of course, you have a mike and an audience of 100s)

Personally, as a rookie blogger but a hideously experienced English teaher, I welcome advice from whoever is (a)handy (b) articulate and preferably (c) a good teacher - because these rare creatures make things clear!

Heh, wouldn't call meself a guru, let alone an uber one :)

Hope we cleared up some of the other stuff, I'm taking the piss more than might come across (despite emoticon fest) and while I do take issue with some things I certainly didn't mean to link you in any way with censorship issues at all.

Steve, your link isn't working, so I can't really comment but I felt the same way about your article. Valuable, interesting stuff but pretty average on the relevant / referenced stuff. Just an opinion though, as with everything it's your prerogative.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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