Bud got me thinking

tweet from bud

We are all amazed at the speed and ease at which we can create and post artifacts of learning. Whether it’s a 30 second animoto video or an Professional Learning event.

Twitter continues to be the ultimate in instantaneous posting. It’s fun and works as a message board of activity; be it blog posts, resources and live events. The speed at which this happens is astounding. Within seconds of posting a blog, I have visitors on my site. I can create a twitter wave and see dozens of folks chime in. Ustream events attract an instant audience.

Let’s gain some balance here. I’m anxiously awaiting Bud to post a much more in depth thought about this but as you’ll see, I couldn’t wait.

Gary Stager is right in discussing how there seems to be a newspaper like frenzy in being the first to post about a new product, event or response to news. He worries that it’s all about speed and bloggers are like newspaper reporters jockeying to be the first to write about the “breaking story” In this zeal to be the first, it might seem like those who are late to the party, (late can be defined in hours) are not heard or maybe don’t even bother to post since someone else beat them to it.  In addition, sometimes speed means lack of depth. Good work often takes time and it often seems time is not a virtue in a web 2.0 world. We are constantly reminding our kids to slow down, we want them at least at times, to go a mile deep rather than a mile wide.  But quite often we do the same thing.

eating on ustreamI was also one of those kids who tried to hand in my work first. Just part of my personality. Not better, not worse. I like to do things fast. Just watch me eat (actually some have). I do need reminding to slow down, smell roses, chew food, digest learning. But speed doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of quality either. Good work needs to be examined without prejudice towards the time taken to create. I know many great songs were written in minutes and became classics.

But I digress. Information and learning is constant, fast and everywhere at anytime. Part of the piece about literacy is constantly bringing together old and new. Old things are good. David Jakes helped teach me this a while back.

John Dewey
, Seymour Papert and Marshall McLuhan are among a few who’s “old” ideas still resonate and are resurfacing  as voices of wisdom and teachings that work in any world.

Even within the “new”, it often seems ideas are planted but might not be explored in depth before they are passed off as yesterday’s news. I think this is part of Bud’s concerns.  They are valid. Our foundational and philosophical beliefs are the filter that we use for any idea. I admire those who are processing ideas that may appear old. I have some great posts that are in my clippings or starred section of my news reader. I refer regularly to books and videos and conversations that have previously shaped my thinking. Many, like myself have had to rethink a few things. I haven’t figured it all out but appreciate those that are working at it. Constructivism involves building and playing with ideas. Sometimes it must be constructed and reconstructed.

This is another reason why subscribing to comments is critical. Dropping in an leaving a comment and never returning robs you of great ideas that might be added days or weeks later. The collective learning and understanding that exists in a blog post is often found by reading the comments.

So while it is great to be a part of a live ustream event, the fact it was recorded, provides me the opportunity to go back and view it anytime. Do you do that? What about blog posts? Are you only reading what’s fresh and bold in your aggregator or do you save or star posts? Do you go back to posts written last month, last year? Do you dig up papers and books written years ago that still resonate? I have a number of posts saved from years back that have influenced me. I go back and reread them every once in a while. Old can be good.

So my message is to enjoy instant or new but don’t forget delayed or old. Balance is a great concept.


Flickr photo by http://flickr.com/photos/markdrasutis/

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  • Pingback: Old is good - Balance is better! « Irma’s Educational Blog()

  • Enjoyed this post, Dean. Especially valued this: “Our foundational and philosophical beliefs are the filter that we use for any idea…I have some great posts that are in my clippings or starred section of my news reader. I refer regularly to books and videos and conversations that have previously shaped my thinking…Constructivism involves building and playing with ideas. Sometimes it must be constructed and reconstructed.”

    I think most of us who’ve gone into education did so because we loved being learners. Learning isn’t just about exposure to ideas, though, it’s about working with, sitting with, those ideas. We can get caught up in the excitement of the immediate – I know I do. As long as we don’t forget to move beyond the immediate (at least sometimes) and focus on the building and playing, we won’t lose who we are as educators. Thanks for the reminder.

  • You said:
    > This is another reason why subscribing to comments is critical.

    I agree! I’ve been remiss in this area, so your mention reminds me to seek out the comment feed on my favorite blogs — or should I say all of my subscriptions? Hmmm…

    Blog engines, however, could use a little help in this area. Why is it that “subscribe to comments” is usually buried at the bottom of the page? Let’s promote our comment feeds right next to the Entries chiclet. What would happen if the default RSS subscription included comments? Would that encourage more conversation? I suspect so.

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