New Systems, Old Thinking

I often separate people that save their files into two categories; desktop people and super-sub folder people.

Desktop people save everything on their desktop.  They have a picture in the background, but no one has seen it this decade.

Super-sub folder people have what they believe the greatest system of folders in the world. They have a folder, within a folder, within a folder, within a folder. There is also another folder in there somewhere, buried deep, but it’s there.

Although I use both methods to some extent, I would no longer fit into either category exclusively (although I had a pretty awesome folder system back in my XP days).  Doing the majority of my work in the cloud and on google drive, I rarely save anything in a folder or desktop. Simply using a naming structure that involves hashtags, (ie. #blogposts, #innovatorsmindset #chapter1), I can find my documents much faster than I ever could through the folder system.

The reason I bring this up is that often with new systems, we often bring old thinking. Even with technologies relatively new such as Facebook and Twitter, people cringe at the notion of following people they don’t know on Twitter.  Their “Facebook mentality” is that they connect with only people they know, and they bring that over to Twitter. I separate the two platforms to help people see the value in both; Facebook is who I know, Twitter is who I want to learn from.  The relationships do not need to be reciprocated on Twitter in the way a Facebook friend request is a mutual agreement.

With the ideas that I have shared above, there are no absolutes or wrong ways to use them, but it is to point out that we often bring old ideas to new spaces. This is not exclusive to technology.

I have witnessed some of the most amazing new media centres; amazing technologies, flexible seating, spaces that look more like “Google” than they do the remnants of the traditional school libraries.  Yet, the “shushing” persists in many of these spaces, and the student working in isolation. Again, not all cases, but it is important to note that if the space changes, there are some amazing opportunities in front of us, but we still have to grab them and rethink what is possible.

Gary Stager states the importance of our thinking moving us forward:

When school leaders tell me, “Our school is building a $25 million Makerspace,” I am concerned that Makerspaces may exacerbate educational inequity. While there are expensive pieces of hardware that may need to be secured, I want the bulk of making to permeate every corner of a school building and every minute of the school day. Teachers whose Makerspace is in a few cardboard boxes are doing brilliant work. Making across the curriculum means students as novelists, mathematicians, historians, composers, artists, engineers— rather than being the recipient of instruction. We bring experience with us, but thinking differently moves us forward.

There are so many “new things” in education and our world, but if we bring along the same thinking, what will really change?

Add We bring experience with us, but thinking differently moves us forward.

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