Monday, October 23, 2006

Communicating In A Global Society

That's the title of the conference I'm attending today. And while I eat my lunch, I wanted to drop in a thought or two.

While the focus of the conference is on educational uses of technology and how we can use this with our students, I'm also interested in the personal and professional uses of Web 2.0. Even more importantly, I'm thinking about how critical the use of this medium is now - and will become. One statistic from the morning...a UC Berkeley study of 2003. In that year, globally, we generated 5 exabytes of new information. [pausing a moment while you look up 'exabyte'] The stunning part of the research is that only 0.01% of that information ever got printed. The rest is digital. Amazing.

Obviously, not all of that new information is crucial. Just like this little blog. This is good for me and perhaps a few others, but generations from now students and professionals won't be looking at Notes From My Corner as a key source of information. But that drives home the do we know what is important? How do we choose which information has meaning to us as individuals, parents, professionals? Some information is important to all of us - such as the fact that we are down to eight planets now. Some information is important to groups of like-minded or like-interested folks. And some is just good for me because it entertains me, makes me think, or helps me get from Point A to Point B.

Learning how to find it, how to analyze it, how to make that information come to me....that is the new literacy. And the title of the keynote today. Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century was about those skills. I thought, being a geek in general, that I knew a lot of that. Now I know I have a lot more to learn!

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