Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Real Mash Up - Blogs, Podcasts and Bear Poop?

Well, school is out for summer! While I'm enjoying teaching one online class this summer, I'm also taking time to dig into some educational podcasts and spend more time with my two young boys who continue to teach me new things about the differences between "digital immigrants" and "digital natives."

I've listened to several of David Warlick's podcast episodes that have connected my thought process with educators primarily on the east coast. I appreciate David's willingness to use podcasting to connect educators and share ideas about teaching in the context of web 2.0. It's fabulous to be on my treadmill AND at a conference session that occurred last winter. I've learned a lot and was especially floored by North Carolina's public school initiative for 21st Century Classrooms. Again I am inspired by the work of educators in K-12 to press the importance of educating our students for success in the 21st century.

Now on to my "mash up."

A couple of weeks ago, my family went camping in the beautiful Sierras. While admiring the beauty of the sunlight on the nearby lake, my seven year old son noticed an enormous pile of ... well, poop. We both stared at it and hypothesized that it was either left by a "ginormous" dog or a bear. I pointed out that we had seen many warnings about possible bear visits in our campground and that we would need to be sure to take necessary precautions after our evening barbeque. I was done with the hypothesizing. My son, however, couldn't let it go. He said, "Mommy, I want to know if it's bear poop. Go look it up on the internet." I explained that we didn't have a connection at our campsite (although I did have my laptop "just in case"). I then tilted my head and went into my "digital immigrant" auto rant..."You know, when I was a kid we didn't even have the internet." With a very concerned look my son replied, "But ... how did you know anything?"

This moment, this brilliant moment, brought a lot into focus for me. As I enjoy my summer months tapping into the blogs, podcasts and wikis created by my fellow educators I will also be listening to my children.

Oh, and thanks to Quill Gordon's blog, I'm quite certain it was bear poop.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As you can probably tell by the time it took me to realize you had linked to my blog, I am not a particularly technology oriented person. I am, however amazed by the possibilities for learning that the internet provides.

I am old enough that my junior high school had one computer, with no monitor, hooked up to a clackety dot-matrix printer that held absolutely no interest for me. My, how things have changed!

I'm not sure what it says about my part in the virtual world, though, when the most common search term to bring people to my blog is "bear poop."

Quill Gordon