Friday Thoughts: What We Don’t Know
At the ANSAA annual meeting this past Wednesday, our keynote speaker, Alan November, challenged the audience— and me, especially— in a way that I still can’t shake or wrap my mind around. He began his talk with a warning, saying that we’d either leave a. overwhelmed and not change anything or b. overwhelmed and inspired. I certainly left overwhelmed.
My biggest takeaway was this: I don’t even know what I don’t know.
He used Google as an example. Who taught you to use Google? Who taught our students? The answer is probably nobody. In a room full of administrators, not a hand went up when we were asked how we would use Google to find schools in England studying the American Revolution. The first thing I would do is type in exactly what I was told to research— schools in England studying the American Revolution, but that’s not going to get me where I want to go.
Google has some pretty cool operating commands, and once you learn them, you can learn to use Google. So, to find websites of schools in England studying the American Revolution, you’d need to type site:sch.uk american revolution into the Google search bar and you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Want to find already-made PowerPoints made by schools in England studying the American Revolution? Type filetype:ppt site:sch.uk american revolution into your search bar and see what happens.
It frustrates me that I’m just now learning this, but I’m also excited about the possibilities.
And now that I know a little more, I’m left with a choice: a. be overwhelmed and not change anything or b. be overwhelmed and be inspired.
I’m choosing Option B and I hope every educator in the room on Wednesday makes the same choice. Sure, there’s an overwhelming amount of information out there to learn and once you learn some of it there will be something else. But I’m choosing to keep moving forward to keep learning, knowing I won’t learn it all— because, to be honest, I don’t even know what I don’t know.