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Who Moved My Tools?

First attempt at transparent screenWith credit to Spencer Johnson and his book, Who Moved My Cheese?, who moved my tools? The tools I’m referring to are the software tools that we rely on every day.

I’ve had a great time at NYSCATE so far, in the hands-on workshops that precede the regular conference. I spent two rewarding days with David Jakes – first in the workshop titiled, Creating Immersive Learning Environments with Mixed Media, followed by, Cartography on the Cutting Edge. David is a terrific educator who knows how to harness the value of technology while still focusing on the core learning literacies that are timeless.

In Thomas Friedman’s book, The World Is Flat, the world changed while we were not looking in terms of the global economy. Similarly, while we are busy using Word, PowerPoint, and every other installed program on our computers, the game has changed in that all of the software has moved to the web. There are many names for this – cloud computing, software as a service, browser-ware, etc. The bottom line is that the computer you type on is the vehicle that gets you to the software and content – all located on the web.

We spent two days talking about and beginning to build powerful environments for students and teachers – and all the tools are web-based (see list here from David’s site). There are pros and cons to this, but the fact is that web-based tools allow for RSS feeds, html code that is embedable, and a multitute of uses and a re-uses. The internet connection and browser become the only necessary resources to communicate, collaborate, and be productive. In this light, is it a suprise that Google jumped into the browser market with Chrome?

The web is the new slate on which we will be drawing our future – literally – how will we harness it and make it what we want it to be?

Image courtesy of JcMaco on Flickr.