I imagine that you’ve wondered who it is that is reading your blogs and tweets but not commenting. It was me.
I was inspired to start this by this post by Aaron Davis in which he asks, among other things, why I lurk. I’ve lurked for a while now. I’m told that this is a normal phase in one’s emergence as a connected learner, but I feel the need to answer Aaron’s post. By the time I get to the end of it, some sense of its worth may have emerged.
This post began as a comment on Aaron’s original post (which I never actually made) and I’ve written it several times in my head over the last month. I think I’m now resigned to dot points. So, here’s why I lurk:
- I’m a traditional teacher and traditional learner. I have generally viewed these activities as existing in their own silos. I’m either teaching (which is something I do to teenagers) or being taught (which is something that gets done to me). I’ve never thought of myself as contributing to the development of other teachers. I realise now that this leap is imaginary. That we all contribute to each other’s development in every professional conversation we have. However, In the past I’ve always seen this as a leap.
- I’m not a writer. Writing is a craft. It’s not something that every teacher is good at. Some people are excellent writers. All the blogs I enjoy reading are by people who write really well. I’ve never counted myself as a writer, but I guess I’ll just have to learn.
- I’m not trained in any sense as an eLearning coordinator (which is one of my roles and one of the things I suspect I’ll end up writing a little about). I’m a Humanities teacher who’s fallen into ICT and Media teaching, and eventually into eLearning. I imagine that everyone else in my role is actually trained. Is this right?
- When I read others blogs, tweets and comments, I actually imagine that all these people know each other. I still imagine that this is the case. So responding to anything online actually feels like intruding into a private conversation. Writing this feels like standing up at a party, uninvited, and making a speech justifying why I’ve turned up.
All of this boils down to fear. I don’t like being afraid of stuff, so I’m jumping in.
So, has any sense of it’s worth emerged? I don’t think so. But I had to start somewhere.