This quote from Clay Shirky recently caught my attention:
I would suggest that we are all in this process of trying to figure out how to work simply. In a blog post by Jay Baer, I found a review of Clay Shirky’s (2011) book Cognitive Surplus. In his review he states: “As I see it, the recipe for improving the world through collaboration has three steps:
1. More people making stuff (100 million bloggers can’t be wrong)
2. More people sharing the stuff that they make (3 billion photos per month uploaded to Facebook)
3. People that make and share coming together to tackle larger initiatives”.
In the K12 education world that I relate to most, social media is often something we ‘fight’ for the attention of students. Yet I wonder with Shirky how might we harness the power of social media for good? How can we use social media to inspire social change? During the last few weeks in my LDRS 626 Contemporary Issues in Education course the discussion forums lit up with posts about cell phone policies, banning and restricting technology use, cyber bullying. These are all real, current issues plaguing educators and I think Shirky has something to contribute to the conversation.
However, I disagree with reviewer Baer’s number 1 point above though – ‘100 million bloggers can’t be wrong’ – which seems to imply that a majority makes something right. Maybe I’m reading it wrong – ‘making stuff’ in the sense of creating content can indeed be good – or very, very bad, depending on what is created!. I feel compelled to comment on my reaction and state that critical thinking and an ethical framework are still important.