In the left corner…

In the left corner

We have Gary Stager – he’s a US educationalist/practitioner who’s stirred up some hoo-ha with a blog post titled “Why teachers don’t use Web2.0…” which is ultra-sceptical, if not dismissive. He pins his argument around a fairly abstruse discussion about Seymour Papert and Logo but when he get’s to the point, he’s pretty uncompromising: there’s no underlying educational philosophy behind Learning2.0 – the technology comes out of a corporate, not educational context – there’s no peer reviewed scholarship on it – the wisdom of crowds is anti-intellectual – the emphasis on information reinforces passive pedagogical practices – non-equivalent opinions are given equal weight; on and on and on.

In the right corner we have Steven Downes. I’ve seen him described in edu-blogging circles as a Web2.0 guru, but that’s just people associating the fact that he’s quite chubby and has long silver hair with a totally different mind-stream. He makes a very gentlemanly, nuanced response though and deals with the issues pretty much point by point. What I take away from it is that it isn’t about reform – Web2.0 is not going to re-mould institutions into a new stable shape, because it’s intrinsically plastic and moving too fast, so he’s right to insist that Web2.0 “is about doing, not consuming.”

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