Sunday, December 31, 2006

What's this all about...

Well, if you are reading this you might be wondering what this blog is all about and why I'm writing it. Well, that is unless you have been TOLD to come here...most likely by yours truly.

I'm a High School English Teacher in Rumford, Maine. I have work with teachers in implementing technology in their own schools and I have a Master's Degree in Instructional Technology. I have been trying to get a blog started about education and technology. Believe me there are no shortage of those! I am starting to understand and accept the new age of digital information. You know the whole "information doubling at an ever increasing rate" kind of thing and the "push-button" publishing revolution. If I'm confusing you already, stay tuned to this blog--I'll clarify.

The one question that I keep coming up with is, "in this new era where anyone can publish, who will learn to navigate this new world, who will learn to thrive in it, and who will be hopelessly left behind?" I don't pretend to know the answers to all of these questions, I'm no futurist. But I'll give them my best guess.

1. Who will learn to navigate this new world?
Those who are willing to learn and have the basic skills to be critical of what they see/hear while still being open to new ideas, new media and new problem-solving techniques.

2. Who will learn to thrive in it?
Those who know how best to stand out and be original in this new era. I mean, come on, how many blogs, online videos, RSS, wikis, etc can people be reading? Answer. Certainly not as many as are being put out there. Just think of it. Imagine if you read every email (even the junk), watched every TV, every commercial and every radio show! That's getting somewhere close to what is available to experience online these days. So in order to embrace and command this new era you've got to be interesting, unique, competent, and hard-working.

3. Who will be hopelessly left behind?
Well, obviously not YOU! You are reading this right? If so you have at least shown the initial interest and competency to learn more about this. Either that or you are just trying to humor me. Sadly, a large group of those who will be left behind (God I hate that phrase now) will be those who lack the skills to understand how and why the information their experiencing is produced. Being able to spot the modern snake oil salesman is key now more than ever before.

So back to the original question... What's this all about? Well, Maine Ideas in Education is my drop in the pond. It's my attempt to be original, insightful and relevant and to better understand what that actually means. Simultaneously, it's my attempt to help guide teachers, students or anyone else who would listen through this new era. After all, even a drop in the pond can cause a ripple, right?

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