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…That’s what sux about working for an organisation. Your colleagues don’t take the time to look you up out find out more about who you are, what you’ve done, and as a result can all too easily dis what you say. To them, your just some face you has just introduced themselves in one of those almost pointless round table introductions before the meeting, and that’s it. When I said things like “social networking software” you could literally see minds shutting down around you. when I talked about using available services on the Internet, and not rebuilding the Internet the way we want it – people fold their arms, sit back, and ask who is this punk?

Having an online community and a voice within it always lures me into a false sense of security. I look at it as My preferred classroom. But its one in which I have chosen my classmates (more or less). When online, that security isn’t false at all. We swap links, encourage each others work, nurture each others ideas. But in the day job, in an organisation that thinks face to face meetings are productive, where everyone has been schooled and socialised, there is no online – only you, what you look like, and what you sound like. And I’ve come to realise that what I look and sound like can really work against me in these situations.

Given the floor, I can do alright. I have some time to dispel the prejudgements on my age, gender, clothing choice, race. I have some time to establish what I’m on about, I have some time to make a point. In a meeting, where respect is back to zero, and where it is common to cut people off and interrupt them, where organisational politics plays a part – the luxury of having the floor, backed up with hyperlinks and like minded comments just isn’t there.

This is in my mind, where the school and the classroom – where you can’t choose your learning community, where bullying is an element as common as the weather, were politics prevails, and where power is the currency – is totally at odds with networked learning.

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