Thinking deeply to preserve the core

Okay…so I am admittedly NOT a very good blogtender (as I have mentioned before).  See? It has taken me more than a month to get back here! I just don’t see how some of the more prolific of my colleagues churn out substantive contributions with dependable regularity (daily in some cases!).  Me, I think, and chew, and cogitate, and ruminate, over every idea I have for a post.  Then the idea gets cold and I can’t call it back sufficiently enough to capture in words or a new idea displaces the old one. 

I am working on finding a better system.  Maybe voice recognition is the answer.  Maybe the small notebook I have taken to carrying in my purse for paper and pencil idea capture is going to work.  Maybe more discipline with using OneNote will be the key.  All I know is that if this blog is to function in the way I have envisioned, I really must find a way to share here more often.  Maybe an approach from my nursing past is in order: “smaller, more frequent feedings”; often ordered for patients recovering from illness of all sorts when they cannot tolerate their “regular” diet (whatever that is).  So, for the time being I am going to focus on making smaller more frequent posts here rather than waiting for the fulminant expression of some profundity I can’t articulate effectively anyway.

My intent is to offer up to my campus colleagues (primarily) and any others interested who might find their way here a ready, dependable, and reliable repository of ideas and resources related to teaching and learning with technology.  This blog is all about consciousness-raising and provoking thought about apprehending the affordances of technology – whatever they may be. 

And, I’ll be delighted if in the process of considering possible use of a technology tool (however small or large an application might be) someone thinks more deeply about their teaching in general and how students might learn as a result. I don’t believe in technology for the sake of technology, but I do firmly believe that planning to use technology means you have to plan how it makes sense to you and a student/learner user; thereby thinking about the essence of teaching and learning.  And I mean thinking deeply – about that which is our purpose: education (teaching well and learning well) – our core, if you will.

I am acutely sensitive to the need to think deeply now in difficult financial times when we are all being asked to make efficiency and savings a priority. Here is my concern: that in the process of considering (necessarily) what needs to be done to deal with very real economic issues we grow more willing to make concessions that compromise the core.  I believe that if we regularly engage in deep thinking about what we do (like how to effectively use technology to enhance teaching and learning) we will know our core more intimately and will protect it when challenges come.  Here is an example of the sort of deep thinking that I have in mind from my colleague Gardner Campbell in his most recent blog post “Cognition Prints”.  Here is a glimpse at the core.  Gardner’s ideas of attention, addressivity, and intimacy are at the very heart of what we do; with or without enhancements of technology (and don’t you agree that he says it so much better than I do. He is truly gifted with words!). 

I invite you to reflect upon the meaning of the core to and for you and reply here with your comments if you are so moved.