Down The Rabbit Hole

The Internet is the amazing place of discovery.  I love how the folks at Curator’s Code term the infinite discovery of the internet similar to that of going down a Rabbit’s Hole.  When you think about it, that is exactly what we are doing.  Here is what the rabbit’s hole looks like for me on many occasions.

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a.) I see a tweet and click on the link to something interesting.  This then prompts me to click on a link on the website that takes me somewhere else.  All of a sudden my interest on a topic, person, or something  is peaked and I go to youtube and find a video about it.  The video links me to something else and I go there and find the author of something else.  I google his name because I am interested in what he is talking about and it just keeps going and going and going….

An example of this is about a month or so ago I remember seeing a video link through one of my twitter friends to the Fellowship of the Ning, which is a group of young people from around the world who had a collaborative channel for a number of years.  The link was to a google hangout where Ben Wilkoff was doing an interview of their experiences and talking about their relationship and efforts over the years.  Through this I learned about his soon to be collab channel which would be called The Fellowship of the Open Spokes where a number of educators post daily videos and discuss issues in education and learning.  I am obsessed with watching these videos and it has become a nightly experience for me- all of this as a result of someone hyperlinking and tweeting a link.

I want to reflect in two parts to this phenomenon we call the Internet and how it has transformed my life:

Before COETAIL: 

Before COETAIL I was a frequent taker of information and content and never really considered why attribution was important.   Without realizing it I take information every day from the internet and my experiences on the internet are transformed by the ability to hyperlink and jump around or by letting the rabbit hole take me into places I never dreamed of and to learn things and make connections with my prior learning in ways I had never thought about before.  As a learner I am constantly amazed at how the internet transforms these learning experiences for me.  It is not so much the traditional learning that we might think about pre-internet but rather the 2-way dialogue built into this community that really transforms my learning experiences.

Post Beginning COETAIL

After beginning the COETAIL course and giving myself the time to reflect on the readings and have discussions with my students about these issues about the internet, it has caused me to reflect on myself as a learner and user of this vast space we call the internet.  I realize the power of these hyperlinks, how they take us into places of learning that weren’t possible before.  They give credit to authors who spend time creating and they encourage us to create and build pathways for other learners.  It truly is an amazing thing.  It takes time and that is what often gets in the way of me giving credit and attributing etc.. but when we realize what the internet is built on then we begin to see how it is part of the experience rather than an add-on or a separate component.

“Link to others as you would want others to link to you”

As I think about my personal use of the internet, this blog that I came across makes me think about it all in a very interesting light:  The internet has totally transformed the way we live.  It is not so much about transforming in a negative way but rather a new way.  Cool idea. See below

What do you think? Could you do what this guy did?


2 thoughts on “Down The Rabbit Hole

  • Hi,
    I enjoyed your post. I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about in terms of the hyperlink and link rabbit hole. When I first started twitter and first started using the google reader, I would spend literally hours just aimlessly following the rabbit = links after links that lead to more links. Like you, I think Coetail is actually helping me hone the skills and habits I’ve developed over the years and helping me to be more effective.

    Good luck with the rest of Coetail. 🙂

  • I agree with what you mention in this post:” The internet has totally transformed the way we live.” It would be a great challenge for me not to use Internet for a considerable amount of time like a year or more. There is no reason for me to completely cut internet usage but in some situations like eye problems or health issue arise, there is no choice.

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