That’s 536 in internet years.
I’ve been involved with edtech for more than a decade and seen a lot of tools come and go.
These days it seems I’m seeing a lot of tools come; but I’m choosing not to get involved with them. This has changed for me in the past 1.5 years or so. I used to get every account that came around. If it was new, I wanted in and I wanted in early. Beta tester accounts up for grabs? Yes please.
These days though, I find I am getting much more choosy about what I sign up for and spend my time with. Maybe it has to do with limits on the time I have to spend with tools. But there are a lot of spaces I’ve chosen to stay out of.
The most recent is Google +. While I admit that I am one of only approximately ten people in the Western world who aren’t on facebook either, I just can’t see a reason for signing up for this tool. The circles and hangouts seem more like a closed network that feels (as an outsider) like a high school popularity contest, and as for sparks, the item that Google advertises as “A feed of just the stuff you’re really into;” it’s called RSS, I’ve had it for years.
So what’s new? What’s different? I’m not seeing it.
But that’s not really different for me these days. That’s why I’m wondering if I’ve got a bad case of the COMS.
I’m not a facebooker. I’ve stayed out of Diigo. I dropped ning when they wanted me to pay. I don’t plurk or use voicethread in my classroom. The list could go on.
Meanwhile, some of the main tools that I use have been around for awhile. I love wordpress and all that is possible with it. While my google reader sometimes gets very full, I use it a lot as well. I will be in delicious until they shut the doors. Twitter has turned into a main space for me to find new people, new connections and new information. I’ve been a lot more choosy about what I use professionally and with what I use in my classroom as well, but I’m wondering about the consequences of this.
How do the tools you use effect the shape, size, and vitality of your network? How do the spaces you are part of effect what kinds of information you have access to? As far as I’m concerned, my network is meeting my information needs, but am I missing out on things / people / connections by purposely limiting my network and shaping it using certain tools? I am vastly in favour of open networks and connections, but at what point am I constructing a closed information ecology for myself by choosing fewer tools?