Consulting The Oracle

So, after a two month hiatus (love that word) it’s time to blog again. Hopefully, this will put paid to the rumours that I celebrated Christmas by systematically visiting all 127 Cellar Doors in the Barossa Valley. Such a lie; I’m only just up to the letter P.

Later this year I will be speaking at the Education Nation conference in Sydney … here’s the proof.Education Nation

The title of my Day One presentation is “Have We Just Made Everything Worse? Technology in Our Schools.” Although the event itself is still three months away, I’m sure the organisers will be glad to hear that my planning is well under way. Indeed, one aspect of that planning is to put into words in this post a half formed idea that I had recently. There is a genuine risk that some of you will immediately label me as the poster boy of the lunatic fringe … but here goes. I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback.

At the start of the school year this past January, our Faculty Head of Religious Education (the programme is now called LIFE) was addressing the full teaching staff about changes to the subject including the new soubriquet (Ooh, I like that even more than hiatus!) He began with this quotation:

“One might define spirituality as the search for connectedness and meaning …”

I’m certain that regular readers here know how much I write about and indeed value connectedness. We hear frequently about Internet and device addiction; in fact, a major Adelaide radio station recently ran what they termed a “digital detox” for parents and their “addict” children. And then, the proverbial penny dropped. Is the connection that so many of us now feel to our mobile devices really a form of spirituality? So much of what we do online is about “… searching for connectedness (think Facebook or any other social networking site) and meaning (think Google or indeed any web browser.) In an era where organised religion is frequently shunned by young people, have they turned to the digital realm to find meaning and eternal life? Already, a significant number of companies are selling services which can continue your digital presence long after your death. For a sample of these you could visit www.thedigitalbeyond.com

Image Source www.media.npr.org

Image Source: www.media.npr.org

Walking away from that January meeting, I was chatting with another colleague about my idea. His reply was immediate … “You could be right, every time I go on Google I feel like I’m consulting the oracle.” Certainly it bears thinking about … what happens to my digital music library when I die? What about my photos? Will I still be connecting via this blog with teachers who aren’t even born yet? Will I be tweeting from beyond the grave using a service such as DeadSocial or LivesOn? (Their motto: When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting.) For your sake, I hope not.

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