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Random Thoughts

The power of disconnecting

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onthelogI sit here….on a piece of driftwood wondering where this log came from. For sure somewhere here off the Washington coast…I think.

For two days this will be my thinking spot. The spot where there is no connection. No cell service, no Internet. There is my wife, myself, these waves and this fallen tree.

I look to my right and see our bald eagle friend who obviously has a nest near by. He/she has been a beautiful site to watch over these two days. Yesterday morning it flew by us so close you could hear the wind between its wings. It turned its head towards us, checking us out, then keeps on its way looking for breakfast. Today it sits on a rock island, every once in awhile taking flight to soar in the wind and find a new high perch to take in this breathtaking view.

When we talk about the power of disconnecting, this is always what comes to mind. This idea of getting outside our day to day routines, sitting back and enjoying nature, our surroundings and allowing our mind just to….be.

beachreadingMy wife uses this time to read. The backlog in her Kindle dwindling by the moment. I use this time to write. We both take this time to reflect on life, on ourselves, on us.

Disconnecting is so important. Often I hear teachers say “These kids today are always connected.” and it’s true…we’re ALL always connected.

Recently at an admin training day I asked roughly 80 administrators to put down all their devices, close their laptops, turn their phones upside down. Then move their chairs back from the tables and put their hands in their laps. The room was tense and we lasted 42 seconds before someone peeked at their phone.

You’re not going to disconnect when you have devices that can and will connect. It’s not an age thing, it’s a society thing. We talk about needing kids today, all of us today, to disconnect. What are we doing in schools to help kids, our teachers, and families understand this? It’s hard to disconnect. Finding a place that is “off the grid” is difficult today, not impossible but difficult.

It is important to connect to nature, to our loved ones and most importantly to ourselves. We need to make sure we’re helping kids today understand that.

That’s all I have….now back to watching my bald eagle friend do what it does best. Just being what it is.

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.

3 Comments

  1. I think the last activity of the year for my technology classes will be to stand in a circle holding hands, to acknowledge that we are not just avatars and that THESE are the most important connections, not likes or followers.
    Thx

  2. The eastern part (not the panhandle) of West Virginia has a “Quiet Zone” by federal law around Greenbank Radio Telescope and it’s the only one in the US. For about 13,000 square miles there aren’t cell signals, wifi, or radio stations. We camp there in the National Park every year for a week – with our teenage daughters. It is our time to disconnect and just enjoy the sounds of each other and the birds.

    However, in the last few months, a ski resort in the area has figured out with AT&T how to circumnavigate the law. I’m not impressed and am afraid this will spread over the area.

    http://fusion.net/story/243321/wtf-wifi-in-the-green-bank-wv-quiet-zone/

  3. Disconnecting is certainly necessary. Technology presents endless opportunities to quickly access information and connect with people. We can easily get carried away surfing the net, checking out people, places and things in cyberspace. But at some point we all need to disconnect to connect meaningfully to the people, places and things in our physical space.

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