Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Blog is Not...A Bump on a Log

And neither am I. So how do I translate an active life and an active mind into interactive learning?

The mighty blog?

Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End does not specifically address the power of the mighty blog, but the book does address the necessity of intellectual collaboration, and my conversion to this concept is coming. I can feel it. I am Robert Gu before his own baptism by the fire of interaction (though the comparison makes me blush). I have preferred independent learning over anything that could be truly beneficial for my classmates and me.  I've been stingy. By refusing to share my ideas, I've been a boring bump on a log. But now I am calling myself to repentance.

Collaboration is our language of learning. Just ask Lawrence Lessig. In his work, Remix, Lessig argues that the opportunity that students have to consume and consider others' work, particularly through technology, is essential to their learning. Moreover, it's natural. Lessig quotes Hosler as saying, "Every high school in America needs to have a course in media literacy. We're buried in this stuff. We're breathing it. We're drinking it constantly."

Both works that I have been reading demonstrate the benefits of collaboration. Why was Robert Gu such an unappealing specimen before he learned to learn with others? Community is essential to education in this technological age. So why have I been trying to learn in a bubble? I cannot be content sitting stagnantly on a log that is being worked into a boat, a chair, a roller coaster. Age-old methods of learning are dying, and to survive, I need to add my mast to that boat, throw some varnish on that chair, and buckle up as I take a ride on the roller coaster of interaction.

How will I make this change? The mighty blog. This is a genre I vow to figure out. And tomorrow, I'll do better. Tomorrow I will create a blog that is not a monologue. One step at a time.

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