Chalk and cheese

The dialogue is hotting up here at Online Educa Berlin. Yesterday there was a clash of opinion between two of the keynote speakers. Andrew Keen, author of the infamous anti-Web 2.0 book Cult of the Amateur, failed to make many friends with his somewhat embittered attack on bloggers, Wikipedia and user generated content. As I have said before on this blog, there is irony in his statement that user generated content is simply a whole load of monkeys with typewriters - he publicised his own blog during his talk. Looking distinctly nervous prior to his presentation, once up on his hind legs, he launched into a diantribe against 14 year olds whose opinions are valued equally well as Harvard professors. He urged delegates to determine the difference between opinion and established truth - whatever that is. Andrew was clearly here to sell his book - he shamelessly mentioned it no fewer than a dozen times during his half hour speech, and immediately left for a book signing session.

By complete contrast, Graham Attwell, who stepped in at the last minute to replace a keynote speaker who failed to turn up, launched a blistering attack on the perspective of Andrew Keen. Self proclaimed as Andrew Keen,s nightmare, Attwell argued that the wisdom of the crowd is exactly that - knowledge that can be trusted because so may individuals are involved in the process of editing and strengthening the content on Wikipedia and that there are expert blogs out there that are trustworthy. If we fail to capitalise on Web 2.0, said Attwell, then we would miss a huge opportunity to transform learning and bring it screaming into the 21st Century.

I will leave you to decide who you think is the chalk, and who is the cheese....


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