Tying it together is what Networks are For

Just a couple of quick comments before I get into networks.  First, I saw my first Kindle yesterday evening while waiting for delayed (but thankfully uncanceled) flight from Chicago to Denver.  I recognized it immediately, and when the woman came back to her seat and picked it up, I asked her how she liked it.  She then went into a complete demo, leaving no feature out.  I think that what still intrigues me the most about it is the idea of light-reflecting information technology (E-Ink), as opposed to light-emitting LCD.  We’re going to see a lot more of E-ink — on surfaces we’ve hardly imagined yet.

Also, I continue to be surprised and impressed with the response I get from the district school board members who attend state and provincial school boards conferences.  Today (Sunday) it was the Ontario Public School Boards Association, and though I know there are those who don’t understand it, too big  leap from the schools they think they are supposed to be facilitating, the folks who come up and comment are on board with information-rich learning environments that redefining teaching and learning — and they are ready move forward. 

The momentum is building, friends.  Be ready!

Finally, I had an interesting comment shared with me in Honolulu last week.  Actually it was two comments.  A young woman came up before I was to start the first installment of my Personal Learning Networks presentation and asked me how advanced it was going to be.  “Is this going to be over my head?”  I answered that if she was asking the question, then chances are at least portions of it would likely be more than could confidently grasp.  Then I assured her that the important part of the presentation was simply  realizing that we learn in communities today — that it’s the only way we can work to keep up in a time of rapid change.  ..and that our communities of learning (PLNs) were something that we had to think about as a distinct thing or place that has to be cultivated.  So she stayed!

Now it is nearly every conference that I work at that more than one person comes up and says, “I thought I was on top of this stuff.  Now I know that there is much more I have to learn.”  If I’m feeling my oats, I’ll respond, “Get use to it!”  But near the end of the EdTech conference, that same young woman came up and said, “You know, after attending yours and Will Richardson’s sessions, I realized that I actually knew a lot more than I thought I did.”  She continued that she knew about and had played with blogs, wikis, and RSS, and understood them functionally.  But she said that after this conference she saw how they all worked together, that there really is a new connectedness today where information flows in logical and directable ways, connecting us not only to the content we need, but to the people we need, not merely because of proximity — but through the content.  We simply have to understand how to harness this new information landscape.

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.