The fire hydrant of information (284:365)



Information is growing at an unprecedented and accelerated rate. It has been said that 90% of the world’s information has been created in the past two years. How do you make sense of this? The image and quote to the left is priceless and quite true. There are many ways to filter all of this information. Here are a few suggestions to make that drink from the fire hydrant a little more palatable.


Twitter – So much has written about this tool for educators. Twitter really is the basis for connection. You can connect with other like-minded educators, follow topics, and build your personal learning network (PLN). Twitter, as you will find, also helps you build trust with others, and therefore with the information they tweet. Twitter always lists what is “trending” so that helps if you want to see global trends of people connecting.


Facebook – I actually learn a lot on Facebook. Since Facebook for me is the one place where work, friends, family, and learning coincide I end up stumbling upon information I never knew existed. I learn about everything from the latest trends, hilarious videos, and serious/compelling stories that others find.


Podcasts – I am a big fan of podcasts because anyone can do one. There are scores of podcasts available for educators that are informational and inspiring. iTunes has countless podcasts on all types of topics. Instead of listening to commercial radio, a podcast can help you sift through the growing amount of information. The benefit of a podcast is that you can listen on your time, and at your pace.


Zite (now called flipboard) – Zite is an information curator. All you have to do is put in a few searches of things you are interested in and you will have it at your fingertips. Then you can share that information on you social networks for others to enjoy. Zite can also suggest stories or articles based on your interests that can expand you palate.


All of this information can be really intimidating, but with the proper filtering sites, you can begin your journey to connection. You can learn how to take sips from the fire hydrant of information!

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