Are you doing something new?
Or the same popular thing as others?

Marvin Minsky, professor of media arts and sciences at MIT (from an interview in Technology Review via elearnspace), stated:

What surprises me is how few people have been working on higher-level theories of how thinking works. That's been a big disappointment. ... I think people look around to see what field is currently popular, and then waste their lives on that. If it's popular, then to my mind you don't want to work on it. ... The main idea ... [is] resourcefulness. Unless you understand something in several different ways, you are likely to get stuck. So the first thing ... is that you have got to have different ways of describing things. I made up a word for it: "panalogy." When you represent something, you should represent it in several different ways, so that you can switch from one to another without thinking.

Higher-level theories of cognition, especially in artificial intelligence, is not an area I'm familiar with. Even so, the notion of not jumping on the popular bandwagon seems to be a good one if we wish to advance in our understanding of pedagogy and learning. Right now, web 2.0 is popular, but for about six months, I haven't read much that is pedagogically new in this area. One exception is that of Dave (Academhack) and Jenn (Expos-i-story), who have introduced the browser Flock (with Wordpress) as the key element for bringing blogging into Jenn's composition course. Students will load Flock onto a flash drive and thus be able to blog from any computer using Flock and also through its RSS capabilities be connected to one another. The idea of a flash drive carrying one's blogging and RSS tools around is a good one and freeing oneself from one's one computer is a good one in some respects.

Most innovation, like that of Dave and Jenn's, is the remixing of already present ideas and practices, small ripples upon the surface of pedagogy and learning. Small as they may be, they're still an improvement upon our present practices. So, what ripples are you and I creating in our teaching that differ from what's popular with the web 2.0 crowd or elsewhere? And how can we represent it in more than one way?