To Lurk or Not to Lurk, That is the Question

There’s an interesting debate forming around this post from George Siemens (My Personal Learning Network is the most awesomest thing ever!!) and a response from Jenny Mackness (In defence of lurking).

George’s stance is that you can’t really learn in a community unless you are contributing something, Jenny’s that it’s OK to observe and not contribute. There are lot’s of other interesting points of view expressed in the comments.

To me, I feel I got more out of PLENK2010 by being an active contributor, although in the end I wasn’t sure if I’d learned that much. I think there’s a parallel to be made with large group teaching as a whole: in a lecture of 250, it’s going to be a brave soul who contributes. Perhaps the same is true of a MOOC. Maybe, PLENK2010 was just too big, and the people who “lurked” will be active participants next time. Maybe, it needs to be M for “medium-sized” rather than “massive.”