I saw this quote today from Vivek Wadhwa in Venture Beat
Don’t be surprised if 2013 is a a dull year for Silicon Valley bloggers looking for the next social media startup and a really exciting year for humanity.
Hmm .. is social media not good for humanity? Vivek might not go so far, but he does argue that other stuff will help entrepreneurs start solving major global problems than just … well … more chit chat.
I cringed a bit because Vivek said what I have been thinking for a while, that the initial euphoria about the “social web” is wearing thin. Introducing a social dimension to the web was not a bad thing, but it has not produced the revolution that some expected. We tweet and like and the rest, but … well … this boils down to more self-marketing.
What’s missing? The answer is in plain sight. In order to use social better we need a bitter learning dimension from social. Social is just a tool, not an end in itself. BTW, ditto for gaming. This is why I am spending more time following how teachers are talking about social media tools. And what are they saying? They are talking about making learning more “visible”. To share threads of how to do stuff. They are creating digital toolboxes.
I think that we all will be doing more of this as we get access to better tools. And as these come online, we should keep in mind that it is more valuable to trace our ongoing learning progress than to celebrate individual learning victories. Stay tuned.