In what appears to be a fascinating reaction to a decline in sales of his , (and other’s CDs), The Age reports that Sir Elton John, a self confessed luddite is wanting the internet torn down. The article quotes the singing peer as saying that the internet;
“……. stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff,”
causing people to
“…. sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision.”
Now while there may be a small grain of truth in some of what he is suggesting, Sir Elton’s comments fail to acknowledge that the internet has also been the stimulus for wider social interaction and more diverse creativity than at any other time in history. True some of what is created is dross but the democracy that characterizes much of the newest iterations of the internet has also enabled many who hithertoo have been shut out of the creativity business to express themselves in ways that continue to surprise. Judy O’Connell highlights the work of a young wunderkid Daniel Brusilovsky, who uses his blog and podcast to spread the word about a whole range of things bloggy and more. Check out the folks he meets and the knowledge embedded in his blog and be very scared if you have a nascent Daniel in your class.
Perhaps the good folks in the Professional Association of Teachers in the UK might also be interested in Daniel’s work because they too are seeking to have part of the internet closed down, in this case YouTube. As reported on the BBC, the reason for the motion at the association’s annual conference was a quite reasonable concern over bullying and other threatening behaviour. The assertion that was put however that;
“In the short term, confronting this problem must be the closure of sites encouraging cyberbullying.”
flies in the face of all logic. Suggesting that YouTube encourages cyberbullying is akin to saying that notepads encourage libel. Wes Fryer has written an excellent summation of his take on calls such as these and sees them as a wake up call to us all to be alert to the King Canute’s of the world by promoting the works of surfers such as Daniel and his peers.
Update: Ewan McIntosh has another excellent take on the PAT motion from a UK perspective spiced up with an excellent anecdote from his personal experience. The Comments stream attached to the post is similarly full of though provoking ideas.