So I know this is totally self-indulgent and egocentric, but I do have a point to make about the fact that out of over 2.7 billion results that you get when you search for “Will” on Google, this blog now comes up first. First of all, I find that fact just simply amazing in some warped way. I mean, I know it’s in no way a measure of my character or worth as a human being. There are probably at least 2.7 billion people out there without any Google rank who do much more than I to make the world a better place for others. (At least.)
But here’s the thing…the fact that I am “clickable” or find-able to this extent gives me tremendous opportunities to connect to other people, many of whom may have much to teach me. I am truly humbled by the powerful learning that I have done within the network of people that I’ve become a part of, and it would not have happened had I not had a way to engage in these conversations. I’ve said this many times…blogging has transformed my learning. Our students who are not “clickable,” whose content is not being shared and distributed using the tools of the Read/Write Web, who are not engaging in potentially global conversations about the ideas and topics in which they take an interest, who are not learning how to build their own networks of trusted sources and teachers are, I think, missing a huge opportunity. Without question, I come to this because of what has transpired in my own life, and I recognize full well that what’s happened to me in this blog will not happen to everyone who decides to participate. But not taking part, not sharing in this way leaves little opportunity to find the deeply personal learning experiences that have transformed so many of us in this community, regardless of where their names land on a Google search.
Which is why, more and more, I think that educators have to understand and use these tools. As teachers, I don’t think it’s enough to simply repackage old stuff and “publish” it in a new way. Unless we experience the learning that comes with being a part of the network, unless we are willing to take the time to embrace and use these technologies in our own practice, I’m not sure we can adequately teach our students how to leverage these tools for their own learning.
Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging…