I copied this photo from somewhere. I can’t keep up with my sources anymore. It seems one site leads to another, one blog to another, one tweet becomes exponentially connected. It can be overwhelming and discouraging. I have found that my “techie” friends aren’t always the best ones to turn to because they are always ahead of where I am and I still need to reconcile what I know with what I just discovered. For me learning has always required reflection time and I am not sure how to claim it when I always figure there is one more blog I should read before I ask another question.
The deal, however, seems to be to forge ahead. The mindset is to not be afraid of writing a reflective blog that ends with more questions than it began with. The idea is to put your ideas out there and hope that someone will respond….because it is in that interaction that the learning and reflection continues. The reason why it all feels overwhelming is because it is! It’s huge! The connections we all have to each other and to one another’s experiences and thoughts are beyond our imagination. There are more ways to learn about anything and everything, anytime, anywhere and we have the ability to connect with colleagues wrestling with the same issues that we are whenever we want to.
So how do we set boundaries and not let the access our iPads, laptops, and Smartphones give us flood our brains? How do we choose our connections and sources and make time for independent reflection as well as collaborative reflection? How wide do we cast our interests, how narrow do we keep our focus, what is the right amount of stimulation for fostering our learning and creativity? These questions about the world of technology we live in are not just for me as a student but for my students to ask as well.
I don’t know the answers but more than ever before, I accept not knowing as the work in progress learning always has been. I can’t imagine there being a better time for life as a lifelong learner: Except, maybe a few years from now, when I have figured out how to drink from a fire hydrant, which is clearly a critical 21st century skill!