Sometimes someone else articulates what you’re feeling soooo well, as Dale Pike does here:
I’ve noticed the conversations that are taking place have increased in complexity, as well. They aren’t as easy to just jump into and make sense of. We have gone from talking about things like, “What tool do you use?” to such diverse topics as Open Education, Knowledge Management, and Reusable Learning Objects, to name a few. I find that I often read someone’s post on one of these topics and find that I am lacking in some background. Sometimes such background is linked to by the poster, and sometimes I go googling, but always it turns into a huge investment in time. I suppose this is indicative of the great potential of weblogs to guide instruction. I’ve always thought of the Internet as the largest library in the world with all of the books in a huge pile (I can’t remember where I first heard that analogy, but it obviously stuck). I’m finding that weblogs seem to be like huddles of people with similar interests, sharing what they know and pointing out new resources to one another in the Great Pile. While I’ve been wonderfully welcomed in each huddle I participate in, it is awfully tiring running from huddle to huddle, looking in over the shoulders of those adding to the pile or digging deeper into what is there. Tiring, but very exciting. The sense of overwhelm is not a pessimistic one–I wouldn’t trade the opportunities available to me. I just have to figure out how to pace myself.
I’m feeling all of that, and more, what with a new job, two little kids, a needy wife (just kidding, dear…) My sense of it is that the days of being on the front edge of this are in many ways coming to an end as we have no doubt passed the “tipping point.” (Witness last night’s report on Web logs on the Lehrer News Hour.) I have no doubt that those with far greater technical understanding of the tools will continue to push the technology to wider and wider adoption both in education and elsewhere. And I have no doubt that sooner rather than later, the uniqueness of this place where our merry band of edubloggers have been residing will fade. Those with more facile understanding of the technology will be the ones adding more and more to the “Great Pile” and break more and more new ground.
And this is a very good thing, don’t get me wrong. And there is still much work to do…our students and our schools will continue to be our research, and both will benefit from our collaboarations and our passion. The job of aggregating all that good work into eBN or elsewhere is in itself a huge undertaking, that and teaching the many, many teachers out there who will come stumbling to the table as many of us did. But the development of new and exciting ways to use Web logs in classrooms of all ilks will soon come fast and furious from many new and diverse sources, I suspect. And like Dale, I think I’ll be doing a lot of looking over shoulders and watching as others take the ball and really run with it.
If there ever was a perfect example, it’s this post by Jake about Trackback in Manila. Now tell me, who or what am I supposed to be pinging???