Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Communication or Conversation?

The difference between communication and conversation has much to do with a favorite quote:

Can two people walk together
without agreeing on the direction?
Amos 3:3
That is the crux of the difference. We can talk at each other, like those commercials on tv, or we can converse. But in order to converse we must share something. We must share at least the same direction for our conversation. This does not mean sharing viewpoints, but sharing the desired direction. A conversation involves at least two and it is the global conversation that you are invited to join. An ideal digital conversation shares a few important ideas:

  • listening - one can't listen if one is busy making a racket!
  • linking - hanging what is heard on something already known
  • reasoning - critically thinking about what is said
  • responding - extending the conversation

All learners need to graduate with fluency in several literacies. Reading literacy and writing literacy are familiar to most everyone. Included is mathematical literacy, visual literacy, & digital literacy. A conversation is common to all these literacies. Engaging in a conversation is essential to proficient fluency.
A great conversation is taking place now at The Future of Learning conference. Check it out and invite someone outside the echo chamber to share it with you.
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Photo thanks to Trisha M Shears available at

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