Let’s get connected!

I am currently staying in a resort that has no wifi in the room – yes, no wife in the hotel room?!  It amazes me how many hotels in SE Asia do not offer wifi as part of the hotel package or they charge you an arm and a leg if you want to use it!

So, you have to get “connected” in the lobby.  Or by the pool as I was doing earlier – not too bad of a spot to be using the internet, is it?  So as I sit here and write this post there are several of us “getting connected”.  There are a couple of kids talking on their mobiles (one has a head set on while using another mobile device).  To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are messaging each other.  Haven’t we all sent a message to another human being less than 100m away?  Another man is using his iPhone and several others are congregating around laptops.  I feel like I am in a safe house or some place where everyone is trying to update families on some terrible tragedy!

What did we do 10 years ago, 5 years ago even?

The Macarthur Foundation states that
Young people use new media to build friendships and romantic relationships as well as to hang out with each other as much and as often as possible.

I would take it a step further and say that most of us are now using new media to build friendships and “hang out” with each other as much as possible.   We are always connected and we always want to be connected.  I know for me as new tools and communities on the web become popular I tend to find myself exploring them and how they might work for me.

I went to EARCOS last year in Bangkok and came back with a new excitement about building a professional learning network online.  I found that this connectedness takes a bit of work at the beginning and because I didn’t try hard enough it died out. Jeff nails my feeling in his book when he says, “If a personal network is going to fail, it is in part due to the time and effort that one allows himself/herself to spend within the network reaching out and learning from others.”

I got excited about implementing 21C skills into my classroom.  Just this week has pulled together a few big ideas and spurred me on to give it another shot and a become a more active contributor.  I love the idea of RSS feeds and set my reader up yesterday.

I think what’s most powerful about all of this is what it can bring to us as educators and what it means for our students.  Imagine the power for our students in 10 years who were in our classes and messing around with web 2.0 and online communities as opposed to a class who was unfortunately stuck in 20C systems of learning.

2 thoughts on “Let’s get connected!

  • Hi Tim,

    I was thinking the same thing today about the fact that everybody wants to ‘stay connected’. I am also on holiday on a remote SE Asian island at the moment and knowing I had to leave some posts for COETAIL I took along my iPad. I was slighly worried that I might not have easy access to WiFi and that I would have to go in search of an internet cafe. However I have been pleasantly surprised. In our bungalows on the beach we have a great signal and also all the bars/shacks on the beach have WiFi too, surprising since they seemed to run on a generator. Staying connected and having free WiFi is so important to me that it is often the deciding factor when choosing between hotels (please take note the hospitality industry!)

    It is interesting what you said about children who will have been taught using web 2.0 methods in comparison to children who will have been taught using more archaic 20C methods. You would think that they would be better prepared for a world ever more dependent on technology. However at the speed technology is changing, do you think we will ever be able to stay truly abreast of the current trends/changes in technology in order to impart is knowledge to our children? Hopefully we will be able to help them acquire the skills to be able to adapt with ease to these changes.

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