I walked the Camino de Santiago de Compestella from the French border to Santiago in Spain with my fifteen-year daughter this summer.
I tweeted recently…
@CarolineMMcGee Camino amazing: has everything pleasure, pain, history, religion, philosophy and an interesting evolution of friends on way
— Donal O’ Mahony (@domaho) August 24, 2013
I thought and talked about many things on the Camino and I revisited many of my ideas about digital and social media. I did this in the context that I was offline most of the time (exceptions: email to family, some news and Skype).
Being offline was a novel experience for me.
I think that since about 2007, I have spent one to three hours most days online – much of this was on a professional basis, involving my studies and educational-research; in recent years it was around my personal and professional learning networks via Twitter and this blog.
I am trying to work my way through many of my Camino thoughts on digital and social.
One of them is about not having a device in hand. Not tapping pockets, checking for mails, no flashing screens. I had become so used to these and other actions that they seemed like second nature. It took a while to begin to un-learn them and now it is taking me longer than expected to re-learn them again.
I am not quite sure of the significance of this but I guess that many of the early adopters of technology took the interaction with the device for granted. I notice now I am more in control of the device, putting it away for longer lengths of time and disabling lots of “alerts” – I am not sure how long this will last, but I find the re-learning interesting.
I think that in the context of teaching and learning, how we introduce the handling of online-devices in schools needs further thought.
Rather than the device being omnipresent, teacher and student must see it as an aid to pedagogy rather than replacing the learning interaction between people.
Just a thought, to get eLearningIsland restarted as we begin the new school year!