If you got a chance to listen to the podcast in the previous post, you heard me say something like “most educators don’t yet understand what it means to be connected 24/7, the power and the potential that holds.” Something like that. So when I read “Information Everywhere” over at Clarence Fisher’s blog just now, it really clicked. Listen to how he describes what his students are starting to experience:
They are starting to realize they are swimming in it. As they work from our classroom, from the computer lab, from home, from friends’ houses, they are beginning to realize about the power, and the depth, and the pervasiveness of the information they are surrounded by. I’ve got kids phoning me at home at night (small town, acceptable practice), emailing me, asking me for URL’s, noticing things in videos, and asking about certain podcasts. Its everywhere and it is quickly sinking in for them.
Whatever you think about the natives/immigrants discussion, you can’t deny that kids are more willing to put in the time online than most adults. That’s due to many, many diverse and complex reasons, generational divide, digital fluency and work responsibilities among them. And let’s face it…it takes a lot of sacrifice for a seasoned teacher to dive into the digital world and really take it on. I can tell you stories…
But boil it down, it doesn’t matter if you are a native or an immigrant, white or black, rich or poor, time-stressed or footloose and fancy free, if you’re not willing or able to get literate in the ways of the Read/Write Web, you will either become irrelevant or left behind. Being willing but not being able because of economics or geography is simply morally unacceptable. But being able but not willing is absolute foolishness, because at end of the day, if you’re not swimming in it, you’ll be drowning in it.