Trying to build a Sandcastle – Infowhelm is here!

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Just about to embark on Week 3 of Master of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovations) and having a momentary reflection about how distracting this digital age can be for learning.  I check Twitter feeds and add interesting articles I find. Then it’s time for Facebook and Flipboard.   I pin to Pinterest.  I explore the CSU Library.  I borrow to Adobe Digital Editions.  I add reflective entries to this blog and I think, there is NO way I would have been doing all of this at the same time 3 weeks ago.

What I am learning for myself?

Thank goodness for purpose to learning.  At least with purpose I am using my inbuilt filter to gauge what I need now?  What I might need later?  I am starting to realise that every information source does not have to be accessed every day.  I am also realising though that it is very easy to become distracted by how much information is really out there.  I am finally understanding what this concept of infowhelm is – it is trying to build a sandcastle and the waves keep washing over it, shifting the original sand as new grains of sand are added.

If I am feeling this way, then it is necessary for me to realise as an educator the importance of my role in assisting our students to be prepared and skilled as they face the tides of learning.

This is I believe what Haste (2009) was talking about when she mentioned the competency of Managing Ambiguity.  I am definitely in the messy and chaotic part of learning now.

Through using Twitter, I have learnt and continue to learn how to tweet/share, how to keep my thoughts to a certain number of characters, there are a lot of teachers out there and there are a lot of people with opinions about teaching without ever having served in an educational institution.

I am learning that some spaces I need to keep for play and some spaces are for learning.  Facebook to me is a space to play with my friends.  Flipboard, Twitter and Diigo are my spaces to read, collect and learn from educators.

I feel affirmed by the knowledge I am gaining.  I am determined to keep building and rebuilding my sandcastle but I don’t know if it will ever be complete.  Feeling pretty accomplished today as I have set up my Feedly RSS reader and I have learnt how to give attribution to flickr photos.  See above.

3 thoughts on “Trying to build a Sandcastle – Infowhelm is here!

  1. I can relate to the brain noise. As a lecturer in the course, there is so much information between courses, other colleagues and of course students — many of whom are moving from one course to the next. Once upon a time, I used to chase down tools and ideas from the metaverse like a teenager at their first outdoor festival tries to see all the cool bands and be ultra cool in doing so. I think that your approach to put workflows and tools in place early is wise. It’s also interesting see you have called it a sandcastle, my pet-name for this is a ‘digital dumpster’ into which confess to being a diver. Great to see you are finding this useful and not ‘busy work’ so far. I recommend you have a look at Jon Biggs SOLO Taxonomy. While Biggs is really focusing on Higher Education, it seems that the way children are also learning has connections to our increasing need to make sense of the digital world.

    • Thanks, Dean. Will definitely check out the article. I love the analogy of the teenager, in my mind sometimes I still think I am. 😉 This was a bit of a random post but as I have literally spent all day between Uni and school, playing with new tools for learning – Hapara and Kahoot – on the computer. Felt I needed some reflection time. I am enjoying the times when I stop and think…..what am I thinking here? why am I doing this?

  2. Hi Michelle
    I’m definitely feeling the same way. I called it a cup in an ocean but its that feeling of being overwhelmed by all the information available and what is important or relevant. I too use Facebook for personal use and everything else including Google plus for work an study. I also get distracted and find after a couple of hours of reading and finding new things I have only managed to get through a very small amount of the module stuff (although this could be procrastination). It’s nice to know others are having the same issues

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