So I had about 90 minutes of true blogging flow this morning, reading the latest in my Bloglines aggregator, clicking on links, Furling interesting posts, and stealing paragraphs here and there and saving them as a Webnote. When I was in the midst of it, it all seemed to connect, the tools working seamlessly together, each with its distinct purpose. I really did get lost in it, which is either a moment of higher understanding of all of this or a sad comment on my geeky existence. There was so much good stuff to read, so much that I wanted to write about and explore further. So much mental exercise at 6:30 in the morning as the sun came up over the soccer field outside my window. It was very Zen.
Now, however, it’s very overwhelming. I’ve got this growing mountain of ideas and snippets of some very smart people, and I’m wondering what to do with it. Why, exactly, am I Furling, Webnoting, blogging my time away? Now that I am able to capture all of this information, what exactly do I do with it?
And another thing…
At yesterday’s workshop, only three of the 20 teachers had even heard of a Weblog when we started. I was pretty amazed. That’s not a slap a the teachers who were there; it’s just that the difference between my online educator blogging world and the reality of the classroom teacher world is becoming more and more acute. Online, things seem to be going in all sorts of directions. In the classroom, well…it’s just a different story. Try as I might, I still have yet to find more than a couple of dozen K-12 teachers who are using Weblogs in ways that can potentially enhance their students’ learning. It just feels like a big disconnect, somehow.
One of the gems that I found this morning was from Darren Cannell who has a pretty interesting post titled “Are we entering a dark age of information?” In it, he paints a picture of the potential changes that these technologies are creating and the lack of recognition by schools.
Too much information.
Students who understand how to navigate the web.
Teachers who do not.
Students who have no one to show them what is good and what is bad.
A system of education in which students and teachers do not connect.
I’m wondering to what extent students are passing their teachers in their ability to manipulate the Internet and information, and to what extent teachers will be willing to learn how to model the skills that students are going to need to manage all of this in effective ways. If I’m struggling, I can’t imagine what it must be like for teachers who are just seeing the landscape for the first time.