Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Passion of Connection

What is it that makes this whole internet/blogging/wiki/podcast thing so cool? First I'll admit, I'm a geek. I love computers - can't live without my Mac. Love the internet and the fact that so much is waiting at the click of a mouse. And I love browsing web sites, IM's, chat rooms, and all that stuff.

So now that the confession of geekdom is out of the way, what else makes it fun?

It's not the technology, but the connections it makes possible. In little about little, the author comments that he can write about everyday events for him to read in the future. I totally understand that. But I also get embarrassingly excited when someone reads my blog and leaves a comment. The connection with someone I don't even know is fun.

And this week I had an experience that took it to a new level. I watched an online pre-conference keynote video podcast by David Warlick, a well-known educational technology guru. And in his podcast he asked folks to leave comments on his wiki. I did. And then someone in Texas left a comment about my comment. So, of course, I went to check out her blog. And she listed her favorite blogs. Turns out, one of her favorite professional development blogs is also one of mine! So I left her a comment, of course! And she commented on my comment. Video podcast>wiki>my comment>her comment>her blog>mutual blog>my comment>her comment. Now THAT is fun!

The opportunities for learning, exploring, and sharing are exciting. The very fact that I'm in sharing with this person and other folks whom I will never meet is still almost unbelievable. And yet, it is commonplace to my three kids. What astonishes me, they take for granted. Some part of me wishes they shared my awe. But a huge part of me is envious of what opportunities they will have.

1 comment:

Sara said...

I enjoyed this post, Em!

You say: And yet, it is commonplace to my three kids. What astonishes me, they take for granted. Some part of me wishes they shared my awe.

This is particularly interesting. I've often wondered that about pre-teens and teens today. Do they take the ease with which we can connect with people and access information for granted? Growing up, we never had a computer. I was one of the last kids to write their "final drafts" in black ink instead of typing them. And I'm thankful for that because I still marvel sometimes at this vast internet "playscape."

I do, however, wonder if the internet is making us simultaneously connected and disconnected. Computer time is a relatively solitary period; writing an email, IM-ing someone or surfing chat rooms and interactive websites can isolate us (from actual human contact) as swifty as they can unite us with others.