Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

What do you do online?

The June 11, 2007 issue of BusinessWeek included an interesting chart titled “Who Participates and What People are Doing Online,” as part of their article “Web Strategies That Cater To Customers.” The chart is a matrix breaking down people’s use of media into the following categories: Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators, and Inactives.

BusinessWeek Chart

I think I fit into all the groups except “inactives.” It might be interesting to use this chart in workshops with teachers, and discuss which roles describe their current uses of the web and which roles describe their kids. (I sense a whole-group digital graphing opportunity.) Having a discussion along these functional lines might be more useful than throwing around techno-jargon like RSS, web feeds, podcasts, etc. and asking how many teachers are “doing” those things. I may try this next week in some workshops I’m sharing with teachers about podcasting and digital storytelling. If so, I’ll share the results of our surveys here!

Via Darren Draper’s real-time life blog (aka his Twitter feed!)

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10 responses to “What do you do online?”

  1. Sherry Crofut Avatar
    Sherry Crofut

    I teach a technology in-service in the fall before school starts. Unfortunately, most of my teachers have no idea what most of this even is. I think I will take the article and do a little quiz of my own. I am really frustrated with trying to get my teachers to integrate. I am lucky if they use PowerPoint in their classrooms. Thanks for the article. Good luck with your digital learning. I would love to hear how it goes.

  2. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Sherry: It is very challenging helping teachers learn what “all this stuff” is! I’m excited to be doing two 3-day collaborative workshops this summer we’re calling the “Digital Learning Academy.” The other facilitator and I (Karen Montgomery) just worked on fleshing out our agenda for the 3 days in greater detail this morning. We are focusing on about 6 tools, and having fun creating content together using the tools! You can learn more on:

    I’ll definitely be sharing results from this workshop series!

  3. Sherry Crofut Avatar
    Sherry Crofut

    I already have your wiki from Twitter. I have never heard of ning, but I intend to check it out. I am changing from being a middle school computer teacher to 8th grade English and Social Studies this year in hopes of modeling integration for my teachers. Some of them just aren’t interested though. It is all I can do to ask them why they want to teach if they are done learning.

    Thanks for sharing what comes from your workshop. I am finding that being part of this online community keeps me jazzed! Thanks for that, too!

  4. Chris Lehmann Avatar

    I think I’m an everything but “inactive” too.

  5. Gary Stager Avatar

    Sherry (and Wes too),

    How do you explain that there are still teachers who refuse to use “technology?” How will a 3-day workshop do anything to remediate such symptoms of oppositional defiance? (

    Here is one meager suggestion. We stop using the term, “technology,” and use the correct term, “computer.” This may reduce some confusion.


  6. Matt Clausen Avatar

    I plan on using this chart with principals when I take them through the demonstration classroom I will be teaching in this fall. Prior to showing them the chart I am going to survey their knowledge/use of web 2.0 tools. Afterward, we will compare the chart to the updated (2001) Bloom’s taxonomy (

  7. Matt Clausen Avatar


    While I agree that “technology” is a bulky, ambiguous word, I’m not sure “computer” is the correct term. Too much focus there on the physical machine when the reality is so much more about the connections possible through the use of the machine(s). To use computer is to use pencil, as in, “integrating pencils into the curriculum”. Too much is lost when the focus is the tool. I’m not saying using “technology” necessarily fixes this problem, but shifting to “computer” is narrowing too tightly.

  8. Brian B. Avatar

    I too fit into all the groups except the Inactives. I’m interested in how they decided to break down the groups. What other groups could their be?

    Gary, I taught a 4 week/20 hour course focusing only on Web 2.0 tools and the ideas behind them to about 40 adult learners. Everyone of them was a classroom teacher and the vast majority of them were invigorated by the possibilities. I had many people who were apprehensive about the course because either they were scared of computers or they were worried that it would be a waste of their time (b/c of the fear of someone teaching them Word for the 50th time). Both groups of people, and all those in between enjoyed the class – and each of them took a blog, wiki, podcast, Google doc, etc. back to their school with them.

    The key is disarming them – they think they’ve heard it all before…but not this time 🙂

  9. Brian Crosby Avatar

    Wes – I put some links on my post about students still blogging even after school is out per your request. : )

    I also teach several classes a year to teachers about web 2.0 applications – most STILL have never heard of blogs (or have heard but have never seen one), wikis, Flickr, and so forth and don’t know how to put an attachment on an email. However, what has me optimistic is that I get a whole different reaction now than I did just a year and a half ago – teachers get excited, and seem to “get” the possibilities and links to student learning (writing, reading, analyzing text, discussions about what they read, motivating to write more and more carefully, etc). I have teachers email me examples of things they are doing with their students more often. So I see things improving – not as fast as I would like, but improving.

  10. Mark Ahlness Avatar

    When you do another survey in your workshops, do me a favor, and rename that “Older Boomers” category, would you? 🙂 Ouch. And then for sure add a participant group (or two) younger than 12. Thanks! – Mark

    (ps – comment form not working for me when using IE)