Wednesday, February 25, 2009

LPOD - giving v sharing

Today's learning point arises out of a recording of a conference, but I'm blowed if I know which conference! I can't even remember who Twittered the link (I did try to find it again, honest). It seems to have been attended largely by secondary school teachers.

Update 26/02/09: Alec Couros advises that the presentation formed part of his graduate course and points to this post for further info.

Anyhoo, I picked up this link to a presentation by Stephen Downes.

He made a point that resonated completely with me, even though I had never formulated the thought quite so coherently.

He explained that communities share knowledge, they don't give it away. He explored the difference between the two. Giving something away free of charge as a philanthropic or charitable act implies a position of superiority to the giver over the recipient, whereas sharing takes place between equals. So giving is a downward/vertical action, whereas sharing is a horizontal action.

I like this.

In much the same way - as an attendee (delightfully known as 'plugusin') pointed out - to convince someone of something implies a downward action, an intimation of the superiority of one position over another.

As Harold Jarche put it during a recent Skype conversation, much of the time, when I make contraversial statements, I am looking for engagement. Nothing annoys me more than people muttering to themselves about how wrong you are. For goodness' sake, speak up. Your view carries weight, too. Let's discuss this in open forum and come to a conclusion... together. That's the whole point of social media... isn't it?


Harold Jarche said...

Perhaps people just aren't used to being treated as equals. It may take some time.

Alec Couros said...

Hi Karyn,
Actually, the recording wasn't from a conference, but from my graduate course, and it was recorded last night. More info:

Anonymous said...


I arrived at your post via OLDaily. Thank you for linking the three ideas and your position.

Hope you are feeling better (after posting ... and your shoulder).


The upsycho said...

@Harold You may have a point! Our education system in which the teachers speak and the students listen (and mutter to themselves when the teacher gets it wrong) does not foster open debate.

@Alec Thanks so much for clearing that up. The link took me straight to the recording without any indication of where the recording 'belonged'. I will update the post to include this information.

@Keith Glad you popped by. The shoulder is not improving. We (my family and I) have reached a stage where we have decided that there will be an unspoken 'apart from...' in my responses to queries about my health, to avoid repetition where possible ;o)