Alvin Toffler

Digging Out of a Digital Hole

Alvin Toffler

my inspiration for a life in educational technology

Good morning World!

My first post on my new blog. I am excited about having a blog for the first time, but I have many fears. Bad grammar, terrible spelling and poor content, connected with a mind which might have nothing to say. Obviously, I am not alone in those thoughts; so I will forge ahead like digital trailblazers have in times before.

Besides, what’s the worst that could happen?

A name. I have spent hours pondering the significance of a name. It holds my work back, stops me from starting and causes me sheer panic when contemplating taking another digital step.

In his famous tragedy Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare deliberated on the importance of a name. Well, actually Juliet did when she lamented:

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.”

Act II, Scene II

I lamented as well. What if its wrong? What if it is uninspiring or lacks imagination? What if my boring old name dooms my entire blog before I even begin. Countless options played across my brain as I discarded one after another. Two of my favourite websites and were of no help to me. the dictionary had 28 definitions while the thesaurus had eleven pages! No this would not do. I needed to turn elsewhere. Noodle Doodle jumped into my brain and I paused. Hmm, for the first time, this name had promise. It would allow me to get across the (hopefully) intellectual and creative nature of a yet-to-be-created blog. Alas, a quick search found that a children’s television show would be too close for comfort.

Inwards I turned, searching for an answer. What was my motivation? Why was I here?

It was to have fun. To get smarter. To do cool things in education. To have amazing life experiences.


That’s why I am here.

I have practiced the craft of teaching digital literacy for almost 20 years and I have watched the field change radically. Inspired by a book picked up on the beach in Thailand, Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave had been recommended reading in Computer Science 12. I had not read it during my time in Bob Britten’s classes, but now found the opportunity with time to power down. Toffler’s predictions for the future immediately changed my perspective and direction. From my first position as an ICT Coordinator at St. Paul’s CE Primary School, until my Grade Five classroom today; curriculum delivery has never been so closely tied to technology. Human understanding has long been powered by computers; however, this modern age represents the start of true collaboration and integration within society. We live on the cusp of a time when innovation is outpacing adaptation significantly. Education is changing. The recognition that teacher pedagogy and student understanding is increasingly reliant on digital literacy is the wormhole to the future. It is this path I want to follow.

But I need to get back up to speed. I have switched back on to what’s possible and what is going to be possible soon. I have spent the last 2 years listening to new thinking and again feel inspired after a period where the field of my brain lay fallow. I know it makes sense agriculturally, now I am applying it intellectually. The holes in my own understanding are many; because like anything worthwhile this future has depth. Educational technology is like a map that early cartographers create. Every time you learn something new, you realize that there are more uncharted territories just over that ocean. Layers of the onion. Micro and macro choices within the field radiate outwards from within my brain. I’m alive.

This is why Digging Out of a Digital Hole is the perfect name for my first blog post. I am actively working the shovel.

Right now, getting smarter. Being different. Being me. This is going to be fun.

I like learning.

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