A new infographic at Wikibon is hard to take in especially regarding our students. I find myself wondering how our existing institutional (read school) frameworks can adapt to this environment. What filtering skills will we teach to manage this ‘weight’? Will the system Balkanize out of necessity or will we begin to learn to discipline our consumption and production of information? There is no managing this degree of chaotic complexity. Or is this the tsunami of chaos roaring toward us. We are drowned and don’t even know it. I suspect that other systems surrounding the data (ecosystem, rhizomatic communities, big systems of all stripes) will let us know what’s what and probably in ways that are stranger and more disruptive than we can imagine. The future is already here, as William Gibson has spoken, “It’s just not very evenly distributed.”
That skewed distribution is nowhere exhibited more transparently than in technology integration within the schools. Anyone who does professional development for teachers can be heard shaking their heads in agreement. Some teachers are living in that future already (read coopcatalyst bloggers) but most aren’t. And they know it. And they fear it. Fear can be a thorough teacher if immediate adaptation is what the organism needs. In other words the frog jumps from the pot of hot water. But it is not helpful for adapting to insidious change. I am left to wonder further about how well the existing institutions (school, teacher, student) can be effective in this insidious future. To quote Gibson again, “There are no maps for these territories.” How do we learn that much less teach that? Oddly, this realization makes me exultant not only for the job security it implies, but by the transformation it prefigures. You come, too.