Feed Me

I’m always amazed, and at times, overwhelmed by the amount of digital information we have access to on any given day.  Despite the occasional overload, I would never want to go back to my student teaching days when my main line of professional connection was verbally talking to other educators or flipping through books.  Sure, I could have joined a listserv, and I believe I did, but it just didn’t do much for me.  My students would not agree with me, but as I said, I’m still in awe with how I can gather ideas or find answers within seconds of a few clicks.  In the beginning, I sometimes felt as if I was in a constant race trying to catch up with my tech savvy students when I should have been guiding them and connecting them to this digital world.  Now, I’ve come to the realization and acceptance that we are guiding each other.  Isn’t that what these web 2.0 technologies are all about?  . . . Sharing and collaborating regardless of age, sex, race, or status.

No matter how much I think my students know about technology, there’s always something new for them to learn whether it’s learning how to use an application or simply manage today’s digital overload.  I think teachers and students will always have a two way learning connection when it comes to technology.   Mainly because we don’t always use or view the same technology in the same manner.  For instance, I primarily use the Web for its content while my students primarily use it for socializing.

I proudly remember the day I introduced my students to RSS feeds.  This was one of those days that I was ahead of the game with my students when it came to technology outside of learning a new application.  To my amazement, they weren’t familiar with this concept or feature and oh, what a wonderful feature it can be.  We are surrounded by so many sources of information that it can be difficult and time consuming to check them all out, so why not have the information come to you?  My students loved the idea of their favorite sites coming to them and feeding them the latest 411.  They had unknowingly established their very own PLN, personal learning network and liked it.

More Connected Than Ever. Or, Are We?

I wonder how relationships will continue to change with the help of social media?  In one of my advanced classes last week, we watched a news special titled ‘The Facebook Obsession,’ which lead to a nice class discussion about today’s relationships.

With today’s technology, we have more opportunities than ever to connect with others regardless our distance.  We eagerly share, critique, collaborate, and humor each other on a personal and professional level.  But with all of this, are we really truly connected?  Has the advancement in social networking affected our relationships for the better?   Have we gone from genuine to superficial relationships?

Interestingly enough, the kids don’t see a concern or a deteriation in our relationships.  I’m not surprised when they have grown up with this technology while I am just trying to understand it all.  Maybe it’s just me, but I sometimes feel as if all this social media has become more of a distraction for some.  Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful to be able to share with other professionals and stay in touch with distant friends and family; however, so much technology calls for a balance.  I feel it’s important students are able to manage social technology without losing sight and the appreciation of having a genuine relationship.