(Cross posted on ETI) Lately, I’ve been doing more worrying about the TMI syndrome. Too Much Information. It’s great phrase to use when someone tells you just a bit too much about their hygiene habits, but it’s also something that I think all of us in education and technology are grappling with these days. Anne’s post a couple of days ago regarding the new info lit test being put out by ETS gets to some of the TMI problem, the part that says we need to teach kids how to separate the wheat from the chaff. But my problem is a bit different.
I have this weird gene that makes me love research, and I’ve been figuring out ways to find good information for a long time. The problem is that with the explosion of information in general out there on the Internet these days, there has also come an explosion of good information. You can take the ETI blog as a perfect example. The people who write there are all smart, dedicated educators (well, most of them) who are adding good information to the database that is the Internet. Just a couple of years ago, they couldn’t do that. Add to that another few hundred equally information rich new blogs and wikis and the like and you get the idea. There’s lots of good stuff out there, there’s more coming online every day, and I want to consume it all.
So here’s my issue. I’m peddling about as fast as I can to keep up with all of it. I’ve got my own blog where I hold forth on what I think is the most important stuff. I’ve got a Furl and a del.icio.us account where I store links and pages. I’ve got about a half dozen Webnotes where I dump random thoughts and snippets. I’ve got a Bloglines account where I store ideas for future writing. And the list goes on.
And it’s not working.
It’s not working because a) there’s too much good stuff and, b) while all of the tools are great, they’re not integrated the way I need them to be. I need one space to put my stuff. (I wonder if George Carlin has thought about this?) I can almost visualize it, the look and feel…drag and dropability, searchable, smooth jazz playing in the background. I need it to be on the Web since I use two or three different computers in my day. And I need it fast.
Now I know we need to focus on teaching people how to find the good stuff. But if there isn’t a way to manage all that stuff once they find it, we’re only winning half the battle.