The Heartache of Learning

How ironic that I’m setting up a blog about learning at the same time I’m learning what the heck a blog is. I’m trying, but the blogosphere is a new world for me, with a strange new language. Gadgets? Hyperlinks? Sheesh. I just want to write about the art of learning.

I’ve gone to my thirteen-year-old son for help. That helped some. We talked about how I grew up in the pre-Google age. “How on Earth did you get by without the internet?” he asked. I had a set of Worldbook encyclopedias is how I got by. I mean the actual books. They were green and ivory hardback books with the letters of the alphabet written in gold letters.

But, when I compare that with the depth and breadth of information that is available to my son, it makes me realize that the world we live in has been altered. Like the invention of electricity, or automobiles, or jet airplanes, the availability of all the information in the world at your fingertips, the change opens up possibilities never imagined before.

But, I’m still the same person I was back in the encyclopedia age. All the information in the world isn’t helpful if you don’t know how to sort through it and figure out what matters and what doesn’t. Even with the vastness of the internet, if you don’t know how to analyze, prioritize, compare, critique, or contrast, all you have is a pile of information–which doesn’t count for much if you can’t do anything with it.

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