This week’s post has taken a lot of time and thought. It has challenged me and upset me. It has sparked dinner conversations with my (non-educator) partner and visiting relatives. It has sent me into the internet vortex of blog posts, articles and Twitter chats. It has even made me reach out to a mentor. It has also given me a lot to think about upon my return to school next week.

A case for consumption

Okay, here’s the part that might rub people the wrong way; I don’t find anything really wrong with consuming. Obviously, I don’t think it should be the only thing we do, but honestly, I don’t think it’s all that bad. After all, isn’t reading a book considered a form of consumption? What about listening to an inspiring podcast? How about watching a theatre performance? Aren’t these all examples of consuming? Is this the part where we get to debate what forms of consumption are more valuable? And to whom?

To me, consumption is an integral part of the learning cycle as far as online activities go. It allows for exploration of ideas, information and resources. It helps you collect different perspectives. It affirms and challenges your beliefs. It introduces you to new concepts and people. It compels you to feel and think. Essentially, it is (and has been) the foundation of learning, at least to some degree.

Creating & Curating

Now before I start a riot, let me clear the air and say that I am absolutely a proponent of people doing something with all that stuff they’ve consumed. A big part of my role as a tech coach has been to empower students to demonstrate their learning in different ways. But that’s not to say that everything people create is inherently valuable. I think we can all agree that a lot of what’s online isn’t all that great, even though someone created it. So, for me the question is less about how much people (myself included) are consuming or creating and more about how that balance is achieved to add value.

One of my mentors and Cognita colleagues, Craig Kemp has a lot of insight to offer on this particular topic, so naturally, I scoured his blog and Twitter feed to dig a bit deeper this week. One of the Twitter chats that he facilitates is #whatisschool and in November of last year, this was the topic of discussion. Educators weighed in from all over to share their 2 cents and recommend a myriad of apps that help move us towards active creation and away from passive consumption. If you’ve got time, have a gander.

Getting real about it all

So there you have it, the ramblings of a scatter-brained, media consuming but ultimately creative educator who is struggling with finding the balance in her screen time and continue being evaluative of her creations. I don’t have it all together and I have conflicting opinions, but I’m real. And in my realness, I want to share my struggle with the students and teachers I work with daily in hopes that it will lead to a deeper understanding and connection with others… which brings me back around to the dilemma I mentioned in an earlier post where I talked about my desire to delete my Facebook account. Maybe this week’s assignment was just the push I needed to do it. But first, one last status update:)