sipping from the firehose

I have the strangest sort of headache.

For the past several days, I’ve been trying to cram my cranium full of thoughts on the use of interactive/information technology in writing classes: I’ve read much of How People Learn (which I ordered in print for faster load-times and subway-portability); spent a good long while browsing in Computers and Composition (both the online version and the confusingly-different online archives of the print version); watched most of an hour-long lecture by Michael Wesch – including demos of his course web portals and wikis – that was linked to at the end of a long thread I digested on WPA-L, the listserv of the Council of Writing Program Administrators; and played around with delicious, cite-u-like, zotero, *and* diigo to keep tabs on everything. (Jury’s still out. Perhaps another post to come on that front…)

I think I must have stuffed it over-full, because the center of my head has that creaking yawning feeling of a refrigerator just barely maintaining door-suction, or those hard-plastic toy-package cases when you’ve attempted to tear them without scissors and they discolor and stretch but don’t quite separate. I think you know what I mean.

And this is without having even touched the many many blogs (which I’m sure are wonderful) that I rediscovered on the no-longer-top-page of our group blog. It was reading that list that made me start to creak, and hence to start this post.

All of which puts me in not the most favorable of moods toward the key technological move that several sites – and also Matt’s workshop on webapps – have been pushing, namely, sending students out into the Internet / bringing Internet materials back into the classroom. The problem, as I currently see it, isn’t quite that there’s so much great stuff that we aren’t adequately using. There’s some of that, as well, of course. But as soon as I flip the switch, I find I’ve put my mouth around the firehose. (One side effect may be rapid mixing of metaphors, but I believe I was doing that before. (Hard to say, while my brain’s still distended.))

Times like this, I can see the advantage of a walled garden. I don’t know, maybe I’m not cut out to be an edupunk rocker. Maybe I just need a rocker.

Tagged: efficiency, malfunctions, metaphor, reading, time

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