Balancing the feed

27 01 2010

Taking two blog-demanding classes in one semester (an education technology class & an adolescent literature and media literacy class)  has already, by week three of the semester, left me feeling a bit like Violet in the book Feed by M.T. Anderson – I’m about ready to throw my hands up and scream too: “Look at us! You don’t have the feed! You are feed! You’re being eaten!”

As much as I loved technology and social networking before taking these classes, the more time I spend working with it all, the more I find myself questioning how much of it is really necessary – and how much is just a nuisance. There’s email, Blogger, Twitter, Diigo, Netvibes, a gazillion education blogs, the English Ning, Piccle, TED, Facebook, Youtube, Tumblr, MySpace – and I’m beginning to wonder how many more sites I will “need” to add within the next two years – much less five, ten, fifteen, thirty to forty years before I’m ready to retire from teaching.

So tonight, instead of embracing the attitude that education is impossible without all sorts of awesome technology (an attitude I feel I’ve had for the last couple of weeks, if not more), I’m instead wondering if we as teachers could have too much, or at least, how much of it really is necessary? Of course, to research this question I, as Violet puts it, “caved in.” I used technology to research this question… “They’re really close to winning. I’m trying to resist, but they’re close to winning.”- from Feed.

As sat thinking and blog searching about my mental dilemma – technology vs. nature, how to resist becoming the Feed world, and how to instill in our future students the desire and understanding to create iMovies, play educational games, make web portfolios and social network while also instilling in them an understanding of nature, finding beauty and enjoyment in a hike in the woods or in a hardcover book, and creatively thinking for themselves… I came across this post on William F. Aicher’s blog, author of The Trouble With Being God. Aicher discusses the need for balance between these two worlds – a lesson I feel many of our students today, and teachers are not being taught. Aicher writes, “I’ve always been a lover of both, but beyond personal interest I am a strong believer that finding an equilibrium between the two of them is key in having a prosperous existence in today’s world.”

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” – Lao Tzu

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One response

27 01 2010
Jason Whitney

Awesome quotation! This blog is really well developed already, and I love that you’ve invested some time and found all kinds of resources that you’ve shared here that have been helpful to me. This is terrific stuff. What about your about page?

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