The irony of it all…We are gearing up planning for the next school year and taking a closer look at technology…even though Online is in our name, we are far from maximizing the power of technology. I’ve spent the past week or so researching and working with colleagues to strategies what we need to help engage students, to make learning authentic, and all the while help teachers do there jobs better, faster, and more efficient. We’re exploring the full set of Google Applications and as I welcome each tool into my life I can’t help but think Google just may be the ‘big brother’ cynics/conspiracy theorists are concerned with. Forget the government, I’m sure Google knows more about me and I would like to think ‘cares’ more about me than the government will ever do and I set it all up purposely with information freely given. And just like a big brother should Google has rewarded me with things that make my life easier. My favorite tool lately has become the Google Reader. I like to think of it as my own personal newspaper. No longer do I have to go to my blog and click on the link to go to yours, and then click on your link to so and so…nope Google does all the work. Just one click and voila you’re all right there, along with work blogs and a couple of broncos ones just for fun. I can easily tag and sort and Google even makes recommendations (this is where conspiracy theorists probably get nervous) good recommendations…example after I had all of you loaded Google figured out that I would probably like to read Jennifer Pebbles and Stephanie Howell…of course I would, I just wouldn’t want to go to Pea land everyday and search for links. (yes I know I could bookmark, but I’ve always been bad about that). Have I got you hooked yet, if so check out this great post from the big brothers. No longer will I be intimated by the little orange ‘feed’ buttons, I know now they really are the muscles that move the Internet and as you know big brothers are pretty much worthless if they don’t flex their muscles once and a while. What’s really fascinating to me as an educator is how these tools will shape our work, it’s an exciting time to be a student…no longer will you have to sit in some dark basement of a library searching through microfilms, the information is all right there in your hand completed with citations to copy and paste, our task now is no longer to give the information, but to help aggregate it to answer the why. I can see some of my colleagues challenged by this, they being ones who got into educating because of the powertrip, to be the ones with all the answers, no longer. We will all be challenged, we will all become better learners and in doing so will hopefully be better humans.
So where’s the irony? All of these thoughts were flowing through my head on the drive home and I came home to face yet another set of phonebooks on my doorstep (please make them stop) These books are obsolete already, surely numbers have been changed, businesses closed, etc even before they went to print. So why do we still have them? And at that moment, I felt the full force of life2.0 hit me.