Sometimes I feel as though the resources we have available are too much to handle. My feed reader is constantly being sent new information and all of it is SO good (that’s why I subscribed). The problem is that I end up with 100 new articles to read if I don’t check it for even one day. Then I jump on twitter periodically throughout my days and I am again bombarded with so much interesting information that I get upset knowing I won’t be able to digest it all.
While thinking about this problem I first mentally noted how we must prepare our students to be able to deal with this “problem”. Students will need to wrestle with how to organize and sort this information quickly, because the pace at which the information comes is only going to get faster.
Upon further reflection I began to consider how previous generations dealt with information and I came to some realizations.
1) I get so much “good” information because we have technologies that allow me to set up systems that bring the information in which I am interested to me. In this same regard I am able to filter out unwanted info simply by not subscribing to such feeds. This situation is both good and bad. Good because I get to spend more mental effort on what I want to know, but bad because I am less exposed to the diversity of knowledge being presented.
2) Our ability to archive information and organize it has not alleviated the problem of information overload, it has exacerbated it. I can literally archive, bookmark, or tag everything I read online. Don’t get me wrong, I see great utility in these organizational technologies, but no longer do I hold onto the truly valuable items, I hold onto everything. Because we can keep everything, the noise takes over and the signal is easily lost.
3) I do not subscribe to my local newspaper. I likely heard about the Chilean Earthquake before I heard about a local school closing. What will happen to our communities as the world gets flatter?
Just some thoughts. Let me know what you think.