Access to information is unlike it has ever been before. We learn about events happening around the world within seconds, from the likes of Twitter, Youtube, (media conglomerates are behind the curve) email, and so on.
I personally harvest information from probably dozens or sources, on several different devices. I gather information all day long from my iPhone, iPad, work and home laptops, the radio in the car, and the television. Streams of data come from email, browser bookmarks, rss news feeds (the majority for me), video sites (like Youtube, Vimeo, hulu, and Joost), chat transcripts, text messages, and voicemail – which some services helpfully translate into email. Trying to keep the interesting and useful ‘stuff’ organized and synchronized between all these sources and devices is a dizzying task. (While this post serves mostly as a ‘stream of consciousness’, I might add a useful hint – Instapaper.com is a fantastic website/bookmarket/app for iPhone that helps string many of these sources together into one place, for easy access later on.)
And then there’s the instant availability of every single bit of knowledge there is – a quick google search can reveal the answer to nearly any question – I wonder how this will affect our children? Daddy is no longer the all knowing – If and when I confess not knowing the answer to something, my young son directs me to “try googling it dad”. As soon as the kids are in 1st grade they learn about using Google and other tools for researching information. Do I even need to say that the days of hitting the rows of Encycopedias is dead?! Will it benefit children to learn more about everything they want to know…when they want to know it? Or will they lose out by not learning the lessons as they try and fail in their attempts to get it right?