Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Textual Literacy and Catching the Tsunami

Okay, so President Bush actually spoke truth when
in one of his malapropisms he mentioned the Internets plural. I recently learned that when it comes to the Internet, there are at least two. Mike Welsch, a cultural anthropologist professor at Kansas State University, gives a video introduction to Web 2.0 that really touches on the technological tsunami that already is above our heads.

Yes, my last post was in a "fischbowl" and now I'm treading water in a tsunami! That about sums up the situation of educators, students, our world ad nauseum with the Web.

And I'm going under.....when you consider the fact that the links I have on this blog, let alone the blog itself, cannot be read by any of my colleagues or students at the school where I teach because it has a web filter that blocks all sites that host discussions.

I'm reminded of an ancient parable about two frogs: puddle frog and ocean frog. When the ocean frog visits the puddle frog, he is shown all around the puddle. The puddle frog concludes his pridefilled tour of his abode with a polite question: "What's it like where you live." To this the ocean frog pauses, reflects, and replies, "I couldn't tell you."

It seems that the tsunami is washing us away and yet we are afraid to get our feet wet. School systems are used to linear, hierarchial structures. Teaching the institution to change while teaching in it is where we find ourselves today. If we can, indeed teach the instituion, we might become what's next. Otherwise we are Smith Corona. Remember the topnotch typewriter company? Well, you don't see many Smith Corona keypads today, do you? They didn't catch the wave.

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