Monday, December 04, 2006

Strange Metaphors

After my last post, I began to think about being and early adopter and the insecurity it can create. After some time, I came up with this twisted metaphor.

Have you ever been first to a party? You pull up to the home and see there are no other cars? So you drive around the block a few times, you don’t want to be the first one to arrive. Triple checking the invitation, you find that you are at the right home on the correct night. Taking a deep breath, you park your car and make the slow walk up the driveway hoping someone else will pull up so you are not the only one there.

Finally the knock, (it sounds so hollow) the hosts opens the door. Greetings are exchanged followed by period of feeling very uncomfortable. You think to yourself, if no one shows up in 30 minutes, can I use the “I left the iron on” excuse to get out of here. Finally, a few more people arrive and soon the party is happening.

A few hours later, there is a high-spirited crowd and that “Been There Done That” feeling is beginning to stir. Time to move on.

What this metaphor lacks is the value of the friendship with those who show up just as early as you do. Who said it is cool to be fashionable late!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

In response to Julie Lindsay’s comment –

Julie posted an interesting comment to my last post. I sat down to compose a response and thought I may as well share it with the world. After all, the comment is about Web 2.0.

Julie, I think you have hit on a key point. Early adopters will always feel technology or uses become outdated before they truly take off. Maybe this is due to the fact that we (I am considering you and I early adopters) like to be on the cutting edge of technology and how it can make a difference in education.

Case in point - Several years ago, I learned about Movie Maker II and quickly immersed myself in the product; I then wrote a class on how to use the product and taught this class to teachers and students throughout my district. My former boss and I even made the rounds to all the Education Technology shows in the state or Arizona demonstrating to other educators the value and ease of this tool. I was shocked to see Movie Maker and iMovie still on the list of topics at the last Ed. Tech. show I attended. Is the technology bad? Is the technology dead? No, of course, not, it is just not new to me anymore and I assumed that everyone knew about it by now.

The toughest part of being an early adopter is waiting for the rest of the world to understand the value and jump on board. Okay that require some patience, staying positive while we wait is the tough part.

Ironically, I was late in entering the Blogosphere and the first time I saw a Wiki, I focused on how people would miss use the technology. Today I see the value and have had several conversations in the past month trying to explain to people I work with the value of Blogging, Wiki’s, RSS and of course Podcasting. On more than one occasion I have sent them the link to "Coming of Age: An introduction to the NEW worldwide web" and asked them to read page “X” to better understand the concept. Version 2 of this book will only help explain the value of Web 2.0. As for the early adopters who know what lays on our horizon.