I have spent the last few days reading Thomas L. Friedman’s notable work, The World is Flat. Yes, I know that this book is six years old, and this is not my first introduction to the book as I have heard it referenced in numerous conversations, articles, and interviews, but I will admit this is the first time that I have read this work from cover-to-cover. Wow! You have to read it!
Although this book is primarily detailing some of the economic and social changes that are a result of technological advances, it has prompted my thinking and helped me make connections to things in the Educational world that were not prevalent when his book was first published in 2005.
Mr. Friedman illustrates the level of connectedness that technology has allowed all of humanity to make in a ‘listen-while-you-are-on-hold’ scenario that is commonplace. While waiting on the phone for his stockbroker at USB, Mr. Friedman hears the message that ‘global markets today were more accessible and interconnected that ever before and (because of this) USB services were now available in two locations: ‘Everywhere, and right next to you.’
Get it?? What a concept! Technology literally makes connecting with anyone, anywhere at any time a daily reality. It is this very same parallel reality in education that is made possible by social media tools like Twitter and Google+. It is this same technology that enables us in education to have experts in our field in two locations: ‘Everywhere, and right next to you.’
We have a phenomenal opportunity as educators to bring the ‘world to our students’ – literally!
So, the next time you need a resource, a strategy, a listening ear…remember that SM tools allow you to access two locations…