No Body is as Smart as Everybody

Currently - I am sitting on my couch, dog nestled snugly at my feet as it is quite cold on this August evening, and I am doing the following:

1. Checking my bloglines and reading blogs
2. Listening to a podcast
3. TV on but muted so I can see who is the America's Got Talent winner and waiting for the Singing Bee NOTE: The mute came in handy as the Hoff began to sing!
4. Skyping with Jenn
5. Updating my Teachers Discovering Web 2.0 Tools wiki for a workshop tomorrow
6. Writing this blog

I guess in many ways - I epitomize what Kevin Kelly is talking about in the podcast I am listening to when he says"You are being defined not by the technology that you use - but rather what you don't use!" I have only scratched the surface in the past year of what is out there - both in terms of my knowing it exists and in being comfortable in not only using it, but applying it to my work and therefore, the work of teachers.

For example - my colleague was able to spend four days last week learning how to create podcasts and videocasts and I am supremely jealous. Not that I wasn't productive last week - I was able to work with a district who has implemented a K-5 writing rubric and we made wonderful progress. I posted our work on a wiki and created an Amazon Listmania resource for them. But I can't seem to get enough - enough information, enough time to "play," enough conversation about using these technologies in education. I am defined by what I don't yet know...

But I am ahead of the curve. I have a wiki workshop tomorrow in a district where I still have to send the sites I want to use along with notice of which ones I want teachers to register for so that they can be unblocked. And I have to have the number of the IT person with me because inevitably - they are not all unblocked. But Kevin Kelly has given me a new line to use when I encounter this situation:
"There is not bad technology just as there are no bad babies - there is only bad parenting...Our role is to find the home for these technologies." That is what I have been trying to do this past year - find the right fit of technology tool to classroom.

Even more interesting are the facts that Kelly puts up at the beginning of the podcast, summarized nicely by Ewan McIntosh:

The web is currently being clicked on 100 billion times per day, with over one trillion links. This is the same number as there are synapses in the human brain. Likewise, one quintillion transistors make the web go around, which is about the same as the number of neurons in the human brain. There are 20 petahertz synapse firings on the web and 20 exabytes of memory - the parameters of the web as a whole entity are very similar to the human brain. One problem: our brains are not doubling in size every 18 months.

The collective power of the web bypassing the power of the individual mind is an incredible concept to get a hold of...but I have been chewing on it consciously for the past hour and subconsciously a bit longer than that. I see incredible power with the tools available to us - the ability to learn about, and more importantly from, people around the world in real time. My nieces and nephew will experience a life I can only dream about and will forget more than I could ever possibly know. So how do we in education grab hold of this and ride the wave instead of putting gum over the crack in the dam?

No comments: