We don't need to 'get it'

I’m catching up on my RSS reading from Spring Break and came across David Warlick’s posting about not getting social networks. The comments were interesting to read as well and I thought about this all night and offer this to the edublogosphere.

We don’t get it, we’re not suppose to get it, but we need to learn it.

There are so many new technologies, new sites, and new programs being created that people are starting to get frustrated by the amount of new networks, sites, and pace at which things are being created in the name of education. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get most of it, in fact what I think we are all trying to do is to wrap our heads around all of it, make sense of it, and see if it is worth using in education.

Twitter: I don’t get it, but I’m using it, seeing if there is something there worth using. I like some of what it offers but have yet to find the power in it. Does that make it dumb, or time consuming? Maybe, but my “Friends” and I are just playing around with it, seeing if there is something there to use. If not it will probably go away like other programs that I’ve signed up for that didn’t serve a purpose to me.

Ning: Is all the rave right now and even though I haven’t found time to actually join any of the new social-networks forming there I’m sure I will. Now, will the networks last? I don’t know, but at this point in time I don’t think that’s the point. The point is trying to make use of this new site. What does it offer us as educators? Does it offer anything worth using in the classroom? Does it have value? It will be interesting to look back in a year and see which Ning-Networks are still alive and which have died.

It’s easy to get caught up in the here and now, and even frustrating when you see all the new things coming at us. But isn’t that why we’re here? To try and make sense of all this stuff. I’m completely overwhelmed at the moment. Needing to join this group and that group. But that’s OK, because it’s part of the learning process.

What we need to do, is learn to let go. Our students are good at this. Just look at the current migration from Myspace to Facebook. Or from one gaming system to the next. Our students understand that with rapid change comes a growing pile of programs and sites that didn’t make the cut. Now I’m not saying any of these are in that category yet, but you just don’t know what will take off, so you join everything. I just think of all the wiki’s that have been created for this and for that, that no longer get visitors. It’s part of the growing pains, part of why we’re here. We’re the front runners in the edtech world, it’s our job to sift through these sites, programs, networks to find out which ones are worth implementing in our schools, and using in our classrooms.

Basically we are educational technology researchers trying to determine what works, and were we want to go. So even though we don’t get it…it’s OK. You don’t need to do it all, allow your network to do it for you. I’m not joining every group, just one or two and I’ll allow others in my PLN (Personal Learning Network) to try others and have them report back on their blogs how things are going.

I think we forget sometimes we don’t need to know it all, we just need to know where to go to know it all. 🙂

[tags]21st Century Learning[/tags]

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