At a Loss for Word-le?!

Yesterday on Twitter I saw many messages that Wordle was down due to legal issues and its fate uncertain. I was in a bit of a panic since I use Wordle weekly for the PTChat and Edchat summaries. Thankfully, as I was writing this post, I discovered Wordle is back in business.

What do we do when we are so passionate about a technology then it vanishes?

This has been my first real scare with a tool, but I have had a similar sense of loss with places (SIMS) I have visited in Second Life. They disappear and I miss them, because the reality is that some of these tools and places do not have options that are quite the same. In Second Life, it was a record shop where it always rained. The sound of flowing water soothes me and that is why I loved visiting this place. Yesterday, the tool was Wordle. Rumors tell me that in the future, this tool could be Twitter.

Technology continually changes…

With these changes, some technologies are replaced with newer versions. Some just disappear. Recently, Jeremy Harmer posted this question in his blog,

How should I face new technology? With enthusiasm or disdain?

Jeremy was saddened by a recount from his taxi driver of how he lost his newspaper job with the advances of the print industry. Read the rest of this great post for more of the story.

Embracing Technology with Enthusiasm

If you read this blog, you know I love technology and integrating technology into my curriculum. I love that it opens my students to the world. No matter what their English level, economic background, age, or cultural background, my students have the unique opportunity to display their work to a wider audience and they are motivated by this. I have seen shy students shine through technology. I have seen challenging students find their passions through technology. I have witnessed the English levels of my students increase substantially.

I will never face new technology with disdain, because technology has been advancing since the beginning of time. Humans are continuously finding ways to make life easier. However, I think people miss technologies. It is frustrating when you learn something then you have to learn another technology. I can imagine how difficult this was for people during the Industrial Revolution. History books have you believe that people were so thankful for technologies that completely revolutionized lifestyles. How about the television, fire, the wheel, electricity, and automobiles? I bet people struggled, especially when they could not afford these technologies. I remember when books were not available for everyone and reading was only taught to the elite. In former times, social divides were even larger and many people didn’t have access to new inventions. This has only slightly improved.
I realize I am also susceptible to feeling a sense of loss. This loss is not only for the technology, but I believe it is a sense that someday I may find that the world I was born in is completely different than the one I am leaving. The world will continue to keep changing and improving without me there to see it, embrace it, or experiment with it.

Right now, I embrace technology with enthusiasm but I still love to play the records on my record player on a rainy day.

Record Shop in Rainey Town, Second Life

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Reflect on how you embrace technology and have your students reflect on this as well.

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Which technology would make you feel a sense of loss if it completely disappeared?

Flickr image by Tiltonlane / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0