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Changing the blog template: Learn and Learn fast

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 8:18 AM
Thanks to Sadie the Foodie,blogger extraordinaire and a former student of mine, I succeeded in finding a new template for this blog and then installing it.

This leads me to believe that messing around with technology is much like the old days of teenagers hanging out together with guitars in the 60s and 70s. You hear a wacky chord you like or discover that someone else knows how to play an approximation of Black Bird and then in today's parlance, you "copy and paste."

This kind of free association and learning is what the Internet is all about. People have a question, people Google the question and if people are the slightest bit discerning, they will find the answer from a reliable source.

I'm excited by this kind of learning. The sort that gives you the quick answer to the question and gets you running in the right direction. How much of this kind of learning is deep learning is another story. When we read news on the Internet, when we satisfy our curiosity about what's going on in the world, how much critical analysis do we actually get?

I'm not saying that it's not out there. There are many more pundits (far more learned than I am) who do provide a myriad of opinions and analyses as to what is going on in the world today on numerous websites. Do we read them? Do we take the time to go further than the one minute YouTube sound bite? Why should we when the sound bite is so much easier to digest than a 3 screen New York Times editorial?

Just today, I mentioned to my husband that I saw a headline that hog workers in Saskatchewan were coming down with a new flu virus. He was on his laptop too so while I meandered off to see who had written what on Facebook, he actually checked out the article that I referred to. This is what the first two paragraphs had to say in the article on the CBC website:
"Two workers in Saskatchewan's hog farm industry have tested positive for what health officials are calling a "novel" strain of flu virus and have fully recovered, government officials reported Tuesday.

Dr. Moira McKinnon, the province's chief medical health officer, stressed that the virus identified was "non-pandemic," adding that the two workers did not contract the H1N1 swine flu virus currently in the news."


Now if I had not bothered to read any further, I might go around spreading a nice fat juicy story that the H1N1 virus is mutating into a new form and just sharing the fear that goes with it like the gossipy Typhoid Mary that I am. Back in the 70s, without the communications technology that we have now, it was pretty easy to spread the rumour that Paul McCartney was dead. Imagine the havoc that we can wreak with the Internet.

The Internet can be used very successfully for finding out quick fix answers to why your iPod is frozen and how to find a lovely new format for that blog that you’ve been keeping but I am less confident in its ability to help us find a solution to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine and what is the real answer to life, the universe and everything. Learning is more than finding out quick solutions to today’s snags. The Internet can certainly help us to communicate with others, to share serious information; we just have to be willing to take the time to do just that.

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