The Shortest Distance Between Two Points Is The InternetPosted: June 5, 2012 Filed under: Education | Tags: advocacy, authenticity, blogging, curriculum, design, education, educational problem, higher education, reflection, resources, teaching, teaching approaches, tools 2 Comments
I’ve been noticing a slight upwards trend in readership, as I’ve previously noted. On Friday, however, the readership exploded. 209 views on Friday, 259 views on Saturday. (Normally, I’m lucky to get a third of that.) One person, who obviously needs some help, viewed 99 things in one hour. (Even I’ve never done that.)
It was pretty obvious that something had happened but the other shoe didn’t drop until today, when a comment confirmation request came in. I’d been mentioned in a radio show and podcast for electronics enthusiasts and professionals – The Amp Hour!
Dave Jones had found my post on the bra ad that managed to combine sexism and insulting engineers and had, in his own words, been dismayed by it. His comment, and a link on the website, and suddenly I have some (quite possibly heavily confused) people reading my blog and wondering what they’d wandered into.
I saw the comment confirmation request, followed it back, commented, Dave responded, loop closed.
Except, of course, for how amazingly cool it is that something I wrote about an issue that bothered me found someone else, who it also bothered, who mentioned it, which sent people to me, which sent me to him, and then we basically met up in the corridor, nodded at each other and said “Hi”.
Of course, this would be far more impressive if Dave was in Antarctica, but he’s actually in Sydney. He went looking for stuff about the ad because he saw it and it bugged him – and he found my blog.
But this is still pretty cool. We’re a thousand kilometres apart (or so) and we’ve both agreed that the ad is rubbish. Twenty years ago, we would have had to have met or one of us would have had to write an article that got published on paper and distributed to me. I certainly wouldn’t know about Dave’s expertise in Internet Dating (seriously?) or passion for geocaching.
This is the world that that I have to prepare my students for. A world where their comments, good or bad, can travel for thousand of kilometres. A world where presence doesn’t have to mean physical presence. Of course, as educators, that applies to our classrooms and spaces as well. Our world does not have to be bricks and mortar, bench seats and blackboards.
We’re trying to make connections: knowledge, ideas, people, the future. We already appear to have the infrastructure to do it – do we have all of the right tools and the drive and vision to realise it?
I have no idea but I hope that we do. In the meantime, I’ll be over here, looking at the walls and thinking about the shortest distance between two points.
Re “This is the world that that I have to prepare my students for:” Our students are way ahead of us on this. If anything, we have to learn from them.
The internet and the communications revolution has indeed changed everything, massively, and for the better.
I can remember interacting with my “audience” (magazine project readers) through snail mail and hand written letters. And the only source of instant knowledge and opinion you had available was what you had in your personal library, or who you knew and interacted with personally.
The world will never look back!