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.