The Once and Future Quest for Learning

The model for knowledge in the past was acquisition, mastery, and then mentoring or teaching others.  Today, I admit I am acquiring and sharing faster than I can master or even contemplate the material I encounter on Twitter, Scoop-it, and other online curation spaces. As I find resources on topics of personal interest (and I am focusing on educational content mostly in relation to information literacy), I gather and share but never have enough time to fully reflect on my learning.

In other words, I am teaching faster than I am learning.

I am turning into Merlin. (He lived his life backwards.)














My concept of linear time has changed in relation to my learning.  Was it an allusion that once upon a time I could fully grasp a concept?

I hope we can all catch up to what we once knew someday.



Photo from wikimedia

Embedding Content within Content, Hyperlinked to Content to be Curated

Today is Digital Learning Day and I am whirling through tecnology tools and formats (alongside physical resources) in my school library as I seek best practices for teaching digital literacy in what has become “participatory culture”.

My 4th graders are studying poetry and I am teaching them to share through our library blog. I want them to understand the importance of striving for meaningful content, not just posting and tweeting nonstop. Digital citizenship requires us to be responsible for both our consumption and production of information. I sometimes think that because we are so excited about all the cool “Web 2.0” applications that allow us to produce and share online, we forget to emphasize revision and reflection.

Buried deep beneath the clutter, four or five hyperlinked clicks away, is there some really important meaningful content of high quality or aesthetic appeal? For years, I have empasized process over product in education because all learning, like life, is a process. Now, in the digital age (as content floods my screens nonstop), I am realizing there has to be balance between process and product. At some point, the author or the artist must say “here is what I have done.” The goal is to say something worthwhile.

Extra! Extra!



Have we all become newboys shouting “Extra? Extra? Read all about it!” in reference to our own personal lives through our social media?




Seth Godin says we all now “spout and scout“.  I have been estimating that 98% of this spouting is triviality adding to the clutter that I call “the sea of chaos”– but I certainly may be way off in my calculations.


I failed at my quest to “like” Facebook and I will now openly admit that I do not.  I am trying very hard to embrace content creation with sites like Pinterest.  So far, I am finding my calculations of 98% triviality to be fairly accurate.


What to do about this tsunami of nonsense?


I am reminded of the anti-drug slogan — Just Say No!   I am no longer going to “friend or follow” trivial nonsense.  Please don’t take it personally (my dear nieces, co-workers, long-time chums).  This is not about friendship. It really isn’t. How we communicate defines us as a species.


This is about the future of humankind.




Curation is my new fav word

With the flood of information came the responsibility of each of us to critically evaluate our daily intake. We jump from post to tweet to text to tool to (maybe just maybe) printed word.

For over twenty years one of my roles has been the aquisition of resources (sounds so stuffy and academic, huh? We all like to, um, sound hip and not use stuffy big words today…. I mean aquisition— really? resources—- seriously? lol I am being sarcastic now).

Librarianship, education, the media, journalism and numerous other communication forms are no longer what they were just a decade ago. Actually, if you remain calm and resist the temptation to succcumb to fear about the loss of the traditional hierarchy of information and the unknown territory ahead (GRIN- genetics, robotics, information, nanotechnology), it is quite an exciting time to be alive.

Perhaps the librarian and the journalist are both merging with what museums have always called “curation”. I just read “We’re All Journalists Now” by Soctt Gant. I guess we are all librarians, too! Unfortunately, some collections are much better than others. Some media stations are better than others. Some news sources are better than others.

Decisions, Decisions

Oh– for a simpler time.

Then again, maybe simplicity wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and neither is information overload.

Every minute is just another minute to take another breath.

Curation is like picking fruit and sharing it with others in a basket.

Picture from: