I was talking with a well-respected educator today, and asked him if he was using social media tools like Twitter or blogs to follow the exciting conversations about education taking place online. And he answered like so many of us: “I’ve got an account, but I don’t really use it…. I’m so so busy, I really don’t have the time.”
And that’s our dilemma, isn’t it? We educators are so busy in our lives and our jobs, juggling new teaching assignments, curriculum, parental concerns, administrative concerns, social issues, aging parents, growing kids, political issues, financial issues . . . We want to… but exactly where and when do we find the all the time to learn and do this new stuff when we’ve already got so too much to do?!?
This isn’t what we signed on for. (Even though Marshall McLuhan has been warning us to get ready for the tidal waves of change ever since I can remember.)
But it’s us, and it’s now. We are the Changeover Generation – those of us who are well on our way to establishing our lives and careers, and those of us beyond it. We are the ones facing the price of these rapid social and technological changes going on in our society – faster than we can keep up, faster than we can keep going. We are the ones who find ourselves in the middle of a river teaching young ones to swim, suddenly being challenged to learn to swim an entirely new way, with a strange and different set of rules.
And it’s so easy enough for the young to float along – they’ve been learning do it since birth. No trouble for them to learn new technologies every few weeks or months – and decide it’s unfathomable why we cannot.
Whether we like it or not, we are the Changeover Generation. And in choosing to be an educator, as my friend Mark would say — It Behooves Us to willingly decide to unlearn many of the lessons we’ve built our lives upon, and start anew, as beginners, and endure the confusion and insecurity and time required to learn the new and unknown, and in doing so, even help to shape the future.
Will it take time? Oh Man, does it take time!
And is it messy? It can be incredibly messy! (But messy can also be a lot of fun!)
But we’ve got to find the time. Each in our own way, in our own time, at our own pace: but we need to create the time.
Because – what is the alternative?