Collating ideas

I am a hoarder; I love to collect things however once I have them I have difficulty throwing them away as I am convinced they might come in useful at some later stage.     In terms of physical items this tends to be technology items such as old Atom processor based netbooks, every type of cabling you can think of plus some old 10Mbit network switches and routers.  I also suspect I have some old floppy discs and floppy drives lying around.

This need to collect extends beyond just physical items to teaching ideas and resources.   I feel the need to collect the good ones which I find.   For some time now I have been using twitter and reading a variety of educational blogs and websites, and as a result have found lots and lots of new ideas and resources.   As I have found more and more new ideas and resources there has been an increasing need to find an efficient way to store plus to collate these ideas and resources.   This has weighed on my mind.

Having just purchased a new tablet in the form of a Galaxy Tab S I appear to have found my solution in using both Pinterest and also EverNote.   I am not new to either of these two apps however up until recently my used has been rather limited.   Ever since getting the Tab I have found myself throwing the ideas I find straight into Pinterest and EverNote.    I have found myself using both Apps much more than I used to and have also started to learn more about effectively using the Apps to collate the materials which I have found.   This has made me consider the importance of collation in this world of ever increasing amounts of information.    We often want to quickly and easily find specific ideas or resources which we have previously encountered.   The internet will allow us to find similar items easily however as the amount of material on the internet increases it also becomes a little more difficult to find the specific items which we wish to find among the masses of other similar info.    Using something like Pinterest or EverNote allows me to collate together all the resources and ideas I find, and to tag them such that they are easy for me to find whenever I need them.

This got me thinking about another issue; lets consider that I do use Pinterest or EverNote to gather all the ideas and resources I like over a period of time.   This would be an excellent resource for me as an educator as the ideas would all be ideas I identify with and often would be things that I tried shortly after finding them.    My ability to recall ideas is limited in a way that computers are not, hence  you could consider the use of the internet and Pinterest or EverNote as an attempt to augment my mental capacities.   I would be able to recall ideas and resources I had found years ago without difficulty.    I may come to rely on this enhanced recollection ability.   The issue is that this excellent stored resource of my ideas and resources would exist only in the cloud.    As such the service provider such as Pinterest or EverNote could at any time change the service they offer or could even close the service altogether.   At this point this repository of my individual ideas may be lost.

So the question is how much should we rely on cloud based services in our lives and in our work?    I also wonder about young students who have been avid users of social media solutions; Have they considered that the total story of their life as presented in FaceBook or other sites, which they are proud of, may suddenly and without much warning cease to exist?     Or do students just not hoard the way I do as they can find anything they need via the internet, and could the increasing using of SnapChat be an indication as to this being the case?

I think there could be some good discussion points in the above, particularly where the issues are discussed with students.


Author: garyhenderson2014

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the UK and Middle East.

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