You Know When…

You now when we’re living in an information society, when people come to a Halloween party dressed as a YouTube video.

The following is just me thinking out loud!  Please feel free to continue the thoughts.

I’ve not yet read through all of the comments from yesterday’s post about Web 2.0 and libraries, and I’m leaving the best for last, Shifted Librarian’s (Jenny Levine) notes from NeverEndingSearh author Joyce Valenza’s presentation at an April 2007 conference.

What I’m leaning toward, though, is to leave the hub alone.  It’s a useful metaphor to describe the library.  However, what keeps circling my head,  like hungry buzzards, is the idea that if we are preparing our children for a future that we can not describe, an unpredictable future, then perhaps preparing them for roads, paths, or rails is not the way to go.  Perhaps we need to think less about equipping our students with wheels, and, instead, equip them with wings.

A wing is more refined and more sublime.  It cares much more about shape, weight, and size, because it carries its hosts in multiple dimensions.  However, anything that flies, must navigate.  It’s environment is richer, with far more possibilities and opportunities.  ..And navigating the air is far more complex — and far more interesting.

Many of us, even some teachers, seem unaware that we are swimming in information — or flying in information, to continue my visual.  One of the great things about my MacBook is the distance it seems to reach for wireless routers — sometimes 20 or more sitting in one spot. The thing is that teachers should be teaching from the air.  Students should be learning from the air.  When we educate within the air that we’re preparing children for, then navigation becomes part of the instruction, “I found this information in this way.  This is how I decided that it was valuable.  I mixed it with this other information to add this value.” 

To navigate, you need landmarks, borders, anchors, and access to pilot logs.  I think this is what the library and the librarian becomes — and a whole lot more.

Again, this is just me thinking out loud.  Please continue the thoughts.

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.