Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I've heard the question being asked  on NPR again and again recently: Is there too much information nowadays? Luddites would day say yes, resoundingly. And for goodness sake, there's a few new apps for your thing-a-mi-jig created daily. To me, it often feels like there is too much information. On the other hand, it also helps to have a lot of information, because you know you're bound to find exactly what you were looking for, even if takes a while to sort through it all.

When I find an interesting new blog out there, I get thrilled! I immediately become a follower without hesitation. But really, do I have the time to keep up with hundreds of blogs about literacy (and the list keeps growing)? I think not. And my husband, I know, would agree with me.

This past Sunday morning, we took a family break from our computers. Wow! We got so much accomplished. I was surprised how much more cleaning and quality hang out time we were able to squeeze into 4 hours. It made me sad to think about how much time I waste on this thing: checking my blog, checking fb, personal email, work email, news sites, Hulu, etc... Ahhh! I tell my husband that I'm "going on my rounds" and checking all those necessary sites before we leave for the day, before dinner, before bed, whenever. We joke about it. But it's become such a regular part of my day that I don't think twice about how often I waste my time on the computer.

I also wonder is this blog adding anything to the conversation about literacy? Or it is just another member of an already loud and large choir? When I started this blog I wanted to do it for me- to help synthesize everything that's out there to help me and my school community make sense of all the information that's out there. But is it helping me and my community?

What do you think? Have we reached capacity on information- blogs, tv shows, news outlets, social networking? Or, as we forge ahead, do we need to find better ways to make sense of it all? Do you all have any tips on how you keep your sanity and keep all the beneficial information you encounter organized? Fellow bloggers and information consumers, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Be well! Read on!


  1. fantastic question-posing. I am actually designing an argumentative writing unit for my sophomore English students that hinges on these questions. (maybe I'll include this post as a text for the unit :))

  2. Interesting post. I've been hearing a lot of similar questions lately as the term "internet fast" or "technology fast" (break from the computer and cell phone) seem to gain popularity in the US. With much respect, I feel a little confused by it, though...and perhaps there's a cultural difference (as I'm in France) at work here. I don't understand why people feel they have to spend so much time on the computer and/or cell phone. Work e-mails and calls I understand as those are often an obligation, but the rest seems like a choice (blogs, facebook, twitter, etc.). I love connecting with old friends on Facebook, for example, but if I'm busy or want to spend my time another way, I just simply visit the site when I feel like it Unless it's within the context of work, I can't relate to the idea of feeling stuck to the screen. It's definitely an important question since so many people share the same feeling, though!

    I think the TMI question is a similar issue. I'm very grateful to have so much information at my fingertips and glad to use it when I need it. I don't feel I"m drowning it, though (which one potentially very well could) because I make the choice to use what I need or what I find most enjoyable personally. The rest is there to be called upon if/when I need it. This all seems to go back to the question of choice, to use our time wisely and to appreciate the wonderful knowledge that technology can provide, but to be careful how we choose to use it.

  3. Marisa, It's great to hear your perspective. Yes, I've heard other folks going on a technology fast. It's quite popular these days. But, for me, it almost feels necessary to have these "fasts". If I didn't set personal limits or breaks from the computer, I would be stuck to it all day! Maybe it IS an American thing?!

    This blog is intertwined with my professional world, so even though I do it for myself, I also feel like I am getting teaching ideas when I take time to reflect and to look at other reading/teaching blogs, etc... I have another personal blog that doesn't lure me in the same way (I don't spend nearly the same amount of time on it). I think the fact that this blog is connected with my work makes me more apt to invest more time with it.

    And you're right, it is a choice. But more often than not I am choosing MORE time on the internet than ever before. I also feel like MORE information is available so I find myself interested to find out more about the most petty things. For example, after watching documentaries I find myself googling and surfing the internet to know more about what I just watched. I wasn't doing that 5 years ago. But now because I can, and I'm curious, I do.

    In the end, I think you are absolutely right- how we spend our time is a choice, and we need to make sure we are spending our time carefully.

    Great comment! Thanks for your insight.

  4. Rebecca, Thanks! and it's great to hear a little more about your own story and how the computer plays in a role in it. It sounds like you're doing the very healthy kind of breaks from technology that everybody needs. Lately I've had a few friends tell me they're doing an internet fast for an entire year! That saddened me as a bit since they're a continent away and I won't be able to stay in touch with them unless they're willing to write snail mail (which I still love--but find far too many people don't have the time to do it, or just don't care to). I also think it's a question of balance, so excommunicating the internet for a year seems a bit much to me (for news, research & communication purposes), but of course that's a personal decision...I think what saddened me the most about the whole taking a year off was that it gave way to an anti-technology rant when it's really not the technology that's flawed, but once again, the way it's used. Just think of t.v.'s amazing potential for education! And yet, most people are camped out in front of mindless blather that's not brining them much of anything. Oh oh, sorry for waxing on and on, but it's a really fascinating topic! :)

  5. Without a doubt there is indeed more&MoRe&MORE information clattering louder&LOUDER for our attention. Talk about instant gratification!

    I think that there are several HUGE questions within your questions that deserve exploration - for each of us.

    My own introspection is focused on the value my own blog can bring to others. I truly LUV having a prism thru which to look at my day. (What would someone else find interesting about what I see?)

    Important questions. Worth blogging about! LOL

  6. Marisa, I hear you! An internet fast for a year is extreme. And it's hard for us on the other end because so much communication with friends happen online these days- and, in my opinion, it's not necessarily a bad thing that this is now true!? The online consumer most definitely needs to have self control and set limits for themselves, but I think we also need to recognize the huge benefits of the internet!

    I agree with you about tv. I encourage my students to watch science and educational programming all the time- but it often gets notoriously dubbed the vast wasteland.

    This is an interesting topic...it's great to have a discussion about it! :)

  7. Debbie, Thanks for stopping by! I think I'm going the same place you are- what value does this blog bring to others? I have lots of questions simmering- bit don't feel like I have a clear solution to put my mind at ease. With time, I hope :)


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