Beware of the echo chamber

As my school district was preparing for a building levy back in November
(which did pass, yeah!!), I talked to community members what they felt
the chances for a new building were. Most of them were enthusiastic,
saying that they were hearing a lot of positive talk on Facebook. But
when I pointed out that their friends on Facebook were more likely to be
supportive since they were about the same age and had around the same
aged kids, the enthusiasm waned. As we connect virtually with more an
more people, are we enhancing this echo chamber, where like minded
individuals pat each other on the back and agree with everything is

I try to follow people that may not agree with me or my ideas. While it
is important to have supporters, it is just as important to have someone
that pushes the boundaries. The trick is to be able to carry on a
constructive dialog without coming across preachy or to take things
personally. I’ve had heated discussions with others that instead of
debating the conflict, they let emotion take over. When a conversation
becomes a personal attack, it is then time to take a step back and
revisit the discussion at a later date.

Compromise seems to be a lost art in the present. The congressional
Super Committee failure to come to a decision exemplifies this. We
cannot afford to not discuss rationally, accepting compromises when
needed, in the education of our students.

Diversity is the spice of life. Your personal learning network should
contain individuals that have all different viewpoints. You’ll learn
just as much from them as from those you agree with.