9/22/2005

The Sad State of Education Blogs

Are education blogs any good? Are they informative, thought-provoking, insightful -- accurate?

I keep wondering, and I may not be alone.

Last week's post about fake blogs was met with dismay and derision.

The WCER blogger said I got it all wrong.

Eduwonk chastized me for "refereeing" what is and isn't a blog (Russo on Blogging).

For what it's worth, I still think that real blogs are independent and come from individuals, not organizations or institutions, and -- I forgot to mention this last week -- allow comments and questions. That's another key feature, if you ask me. (You didn't, I know.)

Along to stir the pot this week comes Tom Hoffman, the Ed Tech Insider, with a provocative post about the proliferation of blogs, and blog readers, without enough "authoritative" voices in the mix (The Exploding Education Blogosphere). Be sure to read the comments.

Now, I don't know most of the blogs he's criticizing, but I do know that there are too many to keep up with, and that some (in the ed policy section of things particularly) are incredibly predictable, over-opinionated, and ill-informed.

Are there better blogs out there? If so, let me know. Until then, I have to agree with Hoffman's overall assessment. Some more grown-ups would be good.

OK, enough navel-gazing.

7 Comments:

Blogger Jenny D. said...

And you can see how much I enjoy commenting!

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Russo said:

"and -- I forgot to mention this last week -- allow comments and questions. That's another key feature, if you ask me. (You didn't, I know.)"

And Hoffman doesn't.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

I find it hard to take seriously any article that discusses edublogging and leaves out Joanne Jacobs. What Hoffman seems to be looking for is brilliant in-depth commentary in the field of education - the blogging "thinkers." But in the blogosphere, "linkers" are just as important, because even the most brilliant commentary isn't too useful if no one ever sees it.

The sad state of education reporting these days is not just due to the fact that many education journalists have no idea what they're writing about. It's also due to the fact that the flow of information is choked off by those reporters. The edublogging linkers who make sure that readers know about 10 exciting stories per day are just as important as those who put up one in-depth post in the same time period.

8:00 PM  
Blogger EdWonk said...

I too have noticed that Hoffman doesn't permit commentary on his own site's posts. The other pattern that I can see is that Hoffman is quick to criticise those sites that he judges as having a politically conservative viewpoint, while heaping praise on those that he views as being from the Left side of the political spectrum.

Sadly, he chooses to use a "third-party" platform (EdTech Insider) from which to launch his ad hominem attacks, thereby politicizing an otherwise good educational resource that should be non-partisan.

And how on earth could Hoffman not mention Joanne Jacobs, Number 2 Pencil, or Eduwonk.com?

All three are major voices in the EduSphere.

1:19 AM  
Blogger Alexander Russo said...

there is a place to comment on hoffman's blog, though you do have to sign in and register.

9:52 AM  
Blogger EdWonk said...

You're right. EdTech Insider does indeed allow registered commenting, but I think what everyone is referring to is Hoffman's own site, Tuttle SVC from which he has launched his most viscious ad hominem attacks. (Not only has he never had commenting there, but he is now hiding his categories as well. ( And why doesn't he display his archives?) Maybe he doesn't want folks to read his past posts, for some reason...

He seems so eager to take other folks to task for what they've written, but want's to avoid any scrutiny himself.

Maybe it's one of those "he can dish it out but he can't take it" type of things.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Howie Schaffer said...

I rarely read blogs. Too many lack decent editing skills. Everything is a three-alarm fire.

I also agree with your assessment of fake blogs. We contemplated doing one around here and I did my best to kill the idea for the reasons of inauthenticity that you cite.

Plus, it would have been boring.

11:22 AM  

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