1 thought on “EdTechTalk Community Planning by EdTechTalkers”

  1. The Community
    How do Worldbridges and its partners/members/associates form a symbiotic relationship in which everyone wins? As someone who is only sipping the Kool-Aid (though a bit more often than I used to, I must admit), here’s what I see:

    Worldbridges’ key strength is in its community. Jeff and Dave have managed to attract a group of people that really does reflect the perspectives of the global community with respect to education in general, and educational technology in particular. My experience has been that the people who participate with any degree of regularity in the shows, the discussions, and the chats have a pluralistic view of the world. All people are accepted and treated with respect and dignity. When our opinions differ, we debate the issues amicably and don’t let the issues get in the way of our mutual respect for one another. While this is not necessarily all that rare in an online community, it is a bit unusual when you consider the global diversity present in the group.

    Beyond that, Worldbridges has developed some remarkable, highly specialized technology skills that make it possible (if not always easy) to have an Internet-based, real-time audio conference while supporting it with text chats, shared links, web sites, and all of the other wonderful things that are here. Furthermore, it looks to me like this has been done at very little cost, making use of as much free and open source software as possible. This makes it possible for people to use these tools to do creative, innovative things without large financial and technical barriers.

    So what do the members bring to the table? Content. The site is a very lonely place when no one is around. As much as I like Jeff, if he were just talking to himself all the time, I wouldn’t be tuning in every week. The fact that we have all of these people producing this content makes the site come alive. It encourages more participation. It brings people in. Those people bring their own experiences and perspectives, and the community grows. I listened to the EdTechTalk show for a year, and kind of grew tired of it. I probably would have tuned out if it hadn’t been for EdTech Weekly, which grabbed my attention again. Now I’m paying attention to a lot of the other shows, and getting excited about what these people have to say.

    Sustainability is a big concern. Jeff and Dave can’t allow Worldbridges to continue to take over their lives forever. So other people have to step up. Part of that’s coming with the content. More and more people are creating shows and furthering the discussion. I think I heard Jeff say that more people are getting involved with the Webcast Academy, both as teachers and learners. Continuing this should be a priority (and yes, I may consider jumping in to the academy, too). Another part comes from decentralizing the infrastructure. More servers in more locations would take some of the load off. I could probably help in that area, too. But this has to be done carefully to keep the community intact.

    There’s more to say (there always is), but it can wait for another day.

    John Schinker

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