Thursday, October 9, 2008

All the Tech You Need to Know, You Learned in Kindergarten

The original book "All I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten" was compiled by Robert Fulghum back when I began teaching in the late 1980's. Written to give life's lessons to adults, it was published before the World Wide Web even had a name. Taking time to reconsider Fulgham's ideas, his mini-essays are still quite relevant in the world of educational technology.

Share everything. License your work and then make it available to others. Share your passions, your ideas, your opinions, your work...

Play fair. Let others have a say, and let them contribute.

Don't hit people.
Spammers should read that one! C'mon, use your nicest voice even if you disagree with others.

Put things back where you found them. Well, how about telling others where you found things? Take time to share you bookmarks in Delicious or Diigo or another social bookmarking site. If you don't do that, at least send us a tweet when you find a gem.

Clean up your own mess.
Some might say "Read the ____ Manual"; I suggest trying to work yourself out of a jam before begging for assistance.

Don't take things that aren't yours. If you borrow or build on material produced by others, then attribute the original material.

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. If you err, admit your mistake and publish a correction, clarification, or retraction.

Wash your hands before you eat. And wash them after you eat; especially if you plan on using my keyboard!

Flush. Right, flush... your cache! Depending on your computer's settings, you might be holding on to gigabytes of unnecessary files. Who knows, your computer might just run a little more smoothly.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Well, cookies do remind websites that you've visited before, and it helps them recognize you. Too many unsavoury cookies aare not good for you or your computer, so be sure that the cookies are the right kind.

Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Translation: Turn the computer off every once in a while! There is a world out there waiting for you!

When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Collaborate with team members, colleagues and members of your wider network. If we engage evolving tools together, we're more likely to use them safely, productively and purposefully.

Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. We don't all have the answers; take pleasure in being a learner! The read/write web has plenty of magical finds to share, but we don't have to worry about knowing how or why everything is the way it is.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
But your work on the world wide web will live on... make it worthy of near immortality.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Take time to read the ideas of others. Use RSS to ensure that you have a regular diet of good things to LOOK at; and if you collect podcasts, to LISTEN to!