August 20, 2009

Altering Time and Space: Thinking Counterclickwise

Filed under: edtech,education,teaching — Candace Hackett Shively @ 10:32 am

skypetwitter.jpgFor those of us accustomed to being told when to talk, walk, eat, and even go to the bathroom (in 41 minute increments with 3 minutes between), the shift in culture between our familiar schoolworld and the broader e-world is as difficult as right-brain/left brain shift. Forget the digital native/immigrant thing. All of us are living a tectonic shift in time/space reality.  This may sound like an easy excuse for the life-by-the-bell set to claim disability, but envisioning a lack of time definitions and physical locations is hard on the brain. We can accept them when we see and experience them, but moving counterclickwise to IMAGINING the potential experience of tools such as Skype and Twitter is much harder when we have spent most of our daylight memory since age 5 in school-scheduled time (a time zone of its own, for sure!).

This post is an informal exercise to help your brain, much like drawing with your non-dominant hand or covering one eye to see how it changes your vision. I start by giving a few thoughts on the shifts in time and space envisionable via just two vehicles: Skype and Twitter. As you read, close your eyes and picture each of them occurring.  See the faces, hear the voices and words. Then, after experiencing a few,  add your own visions in a comment on this post.

For those who find this easy, add as many as you can. For others, read more and add only a few. The goal is to help your brain shift back and forth in time and space enough that it MIGHT even start to do so on its own. All of a sudden one day, you and your class might spontaneously shift without thinking about it in advance. And this shift will cause neither earthquake nor cerebral hemorrhage. You might end up late to your next class, but you won’t even notice.

What Skype is Really For:

a two year old trying to make sentences when he sees his deployed daddy during brief shore leave

an octogenarian in Vermont telling stories to a grandson in Dubai- landline to Skype connection

a former student co-presenting at a conference with a former teacher – both colleagues far from home, one in person, one not

a humor break for a grieving parent from their child’s long-long  friend

Tehran to CNN eyewitness reports

witnessing a lab experiment

sharing the first picture of the baby on ultrasound

What Twitter is Really For:

hashtagged #skool2day mentions of what is new in “morning meeting” in classrooms (where?)- popping up on multiple Tweetdecks (where?)

quotes of the day from people you know only as @thinkr or @ideaman

cries for help with a software program or scary error message

a quick idea for a substitute from someone she does not know


telling disembodied anybodies about the cool idea you just read

singing a thought in 140 characters

playing “telephone” in the modern day (if U R old enuf 2 know what telephone game was)

telling people you are from Alaska when you really live in Mississippi

deciding who you trust

1 Comment

  1. Skype is amazing and allows people to connect with love ones in ways that were never possible before. Twitter is one of the best places to search topics in real time. Both twitter and Skype can help teachers connect with their student and if used properly can really increase student learning. Love this post :)

    Comment by Joy Swayne — November 23, 2009 @ 1:12 am

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