Thriving in the information age

firehydrant

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/will-lion/2595497078/sizes/m/in/photostream/

This quote from Mitchell Kapor has been floating around for a while now and it is just so on the money when you think of the knowledge era/the information age/the Google generation.  To see a great visual of this, click on the link below and check out what happens in one second on the internet.

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 9.19.00 PM

The excess and access of the internet is definitely having it’s impact on the way we interact with information.  In the age of eBooks, MOOCs, SPOCs, iTunesU courses, etc…access to information and consumption these days is excessive, exhausting and relentless.  It is as Susan Greenfield states in her book Mind Change, “rewiring our brains”.  For me personally, I find that this is definitely the case when I reading an eBook as I expect to interact the book and I often will jump out of the book often to look into area that pique my interest. Is this a bad thing?  I’m not sure.  There is still for me a difference with a physical book as the immersion is still there.  The problem is with the level of information that spurts from the information hydrant, I often forget great quotes, ideas, anecdotes, etc… What I am keen to know from you is how you are as @GregBCurran puts it “thriving not surviving” in the information age?

Being called on to write board reports, generate education rationales or just write an insightful blog post mean that I need to be able to call on those inspiring moments that hop off a page or a screen.  I recently have read Michael Fullan’s Stratosphere, which for those who haven’t read it is a tremendous book.  It was one of those book’s laden with gold, I just couldn’t put it down and I had so many amazing interactions with it.  It resonated with me so much that I wanted to capture the elements of the book that captured my attention.  I used Evernote plus the camera function and the annotation features of Skitch to capture these moments.  The great thing about Evernote is the how interconnected these all are.  I merely sat with my physical copy and my phone and took pictures when amazing excerpts jumped out at me.

Evernote Snapshot 20150102 204144

The text is searchable and so pairing this with careful tagging makes it easy to find what I need.   Now yes you can achieve this using post-it notes but the search functionality is the key difference.  A big difference is that I have looked through those annotated photos about twenty times already and this is much more than any post-it note/pen in margin laden book that I read in the past.  In Mind Change, Greenfield writes

Flicking pages back and forth, highlighting sentences and scribbling in the margin may all be positive features that contribute to the absorption of what you are reading, so the potential for personal interaction with a paper book may be greater than with a screen.

For me, I think my blend of paper and technology is taking that interaction to the next level.  I would love to know how you are thriving in the information age.  Please share!

 

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