So why does 'lurking' bring up a negative connotation within digital spaces? Is it the creepy nature of all things dark and mysterious? I know there are certainly lurkers out in the digi-sphere that have less than positive intentions. That's the nature of this beast we call the Internet. But my ability to watch and learn while others move ahead, modelling with fearlessness all those things I may not understand, will help my resolve to engage and participate. As teachers, we need to support those in our classrooms who need time to 'lurk' and look before they engage and participate.
This coming week, in class, we'll explore participatory culture. At some point, digitally savvy teachers need to move beyond the lurking and watching. As I teach this group of 'soon-to-be-teachers' I will model a process for them to move from 'watching from the sidelines' in digital spaces to one of full and active participation within supportive and collaborative communities of digital teachers and learners.
My 'lurking' days are over. I'm actively playing in the global, digital sandbox! Join me @MDL4000 - it's ok, you can lurk for a while! (I recently came across this blog post that made me feel proud that I admitted to my lurking - The Power of the Lurker!)