Worth the Effort

Over at Blue Skunk Blog, Doug points out that the digital photography archive sites (e.g. Flickr, Google's Picasa, Amazon Prime's "free" Unlimited Photo Storage, etc.) have made it easy to keep your priorities straight when your house is on fire...you grab the important people, rather than focus on the stuff.

How will this attitude translate to what we do in schools? New technologies arrive, making the old and comfortable approaches we grew up with unnecessary. But we continue to value the old ways more than the new ones, even the former are no longer valid.
In the 21st Century our approach to education can and should be very different from previous centuries. The basic skills we teach are pretty much the same, but the tools we have to use require a different approach, as well as additional and very different literacies from centuries past. Information once difficult to find, maintain, and disseminate is now found by a voice command to a mobile device.Source: Tom Whitby, Stop 20th Century Thinking
Dr. Scott Mcleod (Dangerously Irrelevant) shares in We Shouldn't Be Carnies that this problem is as old as carnivals. We enjoy our fun, but then slip back into comfortable patterns of behavior.
Does this describe our technology integration activities? Or our STEM programs? Or our PBL projects? Momentary, short-term bursts of interest and excitement followed by the regular same old, same old?
Consider that social media, when it interferes with our very human urge to socialize, to connect with each other, can't be stopped in schools. Draconian policies to block it in schools have been rolled back. People slowly realize, while bad things happen, not everyone engages in nefarious activities that appeal to our baser human instincts.
If students want to run for office, run a business, or change how things are run where they live, work, or play, they need to be savvy users of social media. This starts with having a positive online reputation. Source: Lisa Nielsen, The Innovative Educator
Today, the edu-twittersphere is alive with questions like, "Are educators building their PLNs? Are you a connected educator?" While you can't deny the value of this "sea-change" towards social media in school, I wonder how long before the short-term bursts of interest and excitement become habit.

With the concept of building new habits, you have to wonder if critiquing our penchant for reverting to the same old, same old wouldn't benefit from this bit of wisdom:
New habits are often very fragile, and it is for this reason that we must eliminate any source of friction that may lead us astray. These “ah-screw-it” moments (hat tip to blogger Derek Halpern) are the specific moments where you find yourself saying, “Screw this, it’s not worth the effort!” A more scientific take on this phenomenon is called the What the Hell Effect, which explains why we are so likely to abandon ship with a new habit at the first slip-up.
Image Source: http://goo.gl/S7BJwE

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