These were my comments this evening on Tim Holt‘s re-blogged post, “Not Invited to the Buffet: Opinion.”

I’m much more optimistic. A lot of what I hear you saying resonates with me under the concept of “voice.” We need to empower more people to share their voices, share their perspectives, share their dreams. There is a powerful role for digital storytelling here. The work I’ve enjoyed doing the most the past 4 years has involved oral history and digital storytelling. It is a scary thing for many people to publish their ideas and “themselves” out on the open web. Workshops we’ve done in Oklahoma have helped literally hundreds of teachers do that for the first time. 1 video created during a 2.5 day workshop is just a start, but it’s an important beginning.

I think an important part of finding and listening to voices with different perspectives than our own is addressing language issues. Lots of people don’t speak English. Meedan is the best example of a website I’ve seen that brings together English and Arabic speakers.
http://news.meedan.net/

Global Voices Online does a great job giving voice with translations to many different people around the world. This is my favorite blogging and social media project, in fact.
http://globalvoicesonline.org/

There are multiple aspects to this and multiple ways to move forward. Empowering people to recognize the importance and power of their own voice is a key part. That has a little to do with technology, but a lot to do with relationships and listening.

I hope we’ll be able to start a “Celebrate Texas Voices” project through Storychasers in the upcoming months. I think we’ve only started to scratch the surface of what is possible in terms of “inviting people to the buffet” of digital learning, especially when the invitation involves oral history and digital storytelling.

My opening keynote at iConnect, iLearn this past June (“A-Ha Moments: Voice“) addressed these issues with more depth. Ustream recordings of that session are available on my post about the session and my lessons learned using Prezi.

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  • http://www.timholt.net Tim Holt

    Wes,
    Thanks for keeping the conversation going.
    I wonder however, if your response actually addresses my concern in the original post, that the 21st Century-Web 2.0-ed tech movement in the US is predominately run by middle aged white guys (MAWGS). (And I might add…MAWGS that in many cases are trying to sell something, be it a professional development session, a book, whatever.)

    I still do not see the Asian Americans comping to the buffet. Where are the hispanics? Where are the African Americans? The numbers certainly do not reflect the demographics.

    Consider this:
    Education is a female majority profession. No one doubts that remark. Yet, the VAST majority of bloggers, speakers, lecturers are NOT female.

    Why is that? Maybe the ones sitting in the audience are, but the leaders are not.

    When I originally posted that article, I was accused of having “white guilt” feeling sorry because I was the privileged ones.

    But for years now, going back into the late 80s and 90′s, funds for technology to level the field so to speak for minority students and low SES schools have been pumped into the school systems in the US (Title I and E2T2, Eisenhower Funds, Title IID , Title VI Innovative) . So. one would think, just by sheer inertia, that those students would now be coming to the forefront and leading…but they simply are not there.

    So, I ask you this:
    In the US, why are there still groups in education, that have silent or near silent voices when it comes to ed tech leadership?

  • http://www.wesfryer.com Wesley Fryer

    Great question. What does ISTE or Scott McLeod have to say on this question? I don’t know the answer.

  • http://www.timholt.net Tim Holt

    Bonney Bracey Sutton got sick of ISTE giving lip service to the “equity” debate. They would hold a $50/plate luncheon at NECC for the Equity SIG…

    Some equity. If ya got $50 ….

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