Sunday, January 27, 2013

In over my head

Image from Gani01
I remember when new technology filled me with a sense of wonder. Now, it's more like a sense of dread.

Don't get me wrong. I'm amazed about what new communication technologies enable us to do. A decade ago I wouldn't have been able to fathom anything like Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, or a tablet computer even existing. Still, the information explosion that's accompanied the spread of the Internet is overwhelming at times.

The concepts of wikis and social bookmarking aren't completely foreign to me, but last week was the first time I really experimented with them firsthand. Now I've got two more Internet accounts to maintain.

I've got Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to manage for social networking; Delicious to handle bookmarks; two blogs to maintain (and a host of others on Google Reader that I try to follow); two separate e-mail accounts; The New York Times and The Associated Press to follow for news; The Onion, which is good for a needed laugh; and -- because of UGA upgrades -- two distinct versions of eLC to keep abreast of.

And time is just one cost: there's also money. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, and Internet service aren't cheap. It feels like all my money and free time are spent in a hopeless effort to keep up with advances that are supposed to make life easier or better, but mostly I just feel anxious and ill-informed.

Despite my Luddite ramblings, I think all of this technological growth is ultimately a good thing, but there's been so much of it so fast that I haven't been able to properly adjust. Part of me misses the elementary school fights over which kid got to use the color computer as opposed to the machines with the old green and black DOS screens. And that part of me doesn't feel like I'm alone in this either.


  1. It's definitely much easier to choose a marker for the whiteboard (the so-called "bruise" colors, black, blue, brown, purple, being easiest to read) than it is to choose an appropriate technology, but not all of us have very good handwriting. What to do? One answer is to focus on the pedagogical need, not the technology. Determine what you want to improve in the classroom, and seek solutions from there, using technology or not.

  2. Haha! I remember running to the computer lab and everyone trying to get ahead of each other to get the color computers as well! Oregon trail was just so much better in color. I agree that the speed with which technology is moving is what makes it so overwhelming. If I had time to adjust maybe it wouldn't be so bad. : )