Is it information overload?

It’s been a week since Educon2.2. Countless blog posts have been written and the stream of Tweets with the #educon hashtag is still, well, streaming.

So, a week later, this constant stream of information brings me back to the conversation that Liz Davis and I facilitated. I think the quote from Sarah Houghton-Jan that we shared before we began our protocol last Sunday really resonates with me now as we are generating all this content about Educon, and I am curious as to what everyone is doing will all the information.

“We have become far more proficient in generating

information than we are in managing it.”

When people ask you where you find the time to do all that you do and read all that you read about education, do you stop and ask them what they are doing with their time? Do you ask them how many countless hours they spend watching commercials or TV in general? Do you ask them what they listen to while they are exercising or commuting? What do people do with their time?

What options do we have to help us organize and filter the

information that comes to us.

During the conversation that took place at SLA on Sunday, January 31, folks in our session talked about what tools they used to
collect, aggregate and disseminate information. Here are some of the tools our group used:

  • Delicious
  • Diigo
  • Google Reader
  • Gmail
  • RSS

Actually, I took some flack from Mike Wacker and Sean Nash about using a Wordle to give a visual of what the group was collectively using, but oh well. We used Google Forms to do some group questioning and then could have used the Spreadsheet Gadget to do an embedded Word Cloud in the Spreadsheet, but Wordle has so many more options.

  1. Is there something you are doing with your time that you could eliminate or reduce to pursue something you are interested in professionally? Is that so bad?
  2. Do you realize you are not alone?
  3. Talk with people about what they do to manage their information. We would have never heard about how Ben Wilkoff uses Gmail to manage his informaton without the conversation at Educon. Now we just need him to make the screencast or write the blogpost we urged him to create.
Source: Liz Davis's Flickr Stream

We all didn’t have the solution to managing our information, but we took comfort in knowing that we weren’t alone and in being able to talk openly about different ways to manage all the information.
Is there something special that you do?

Is there someone that helps you manage your information?

Is there something that you heard in our session that you have tried and found to be successful?

Please share.

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11 thoughts on “Is it information overload?

  1. Hi Lisa:

    I agree it is getting harder and harder to manage information. I would urge you to take a look at an online application called Comapping which can help to organize ideas. I have been working with a colleague and friend of mine on a summarization tool (Context Organizer) that can contextualize URL’s, Word and PDF documents and extract summaries that works with Comapping. If you are interested in looking at it and providing me with feedback I would glad to set you up with an account. Context Organizer goes beynd simple searching and helping us to extract the kernels on a website, Word document or PDF. If you need more info please email me.

    For more info:http://blog.contextdiscovery.com/index.php/mind-mapping/comapping-and-context-organizer/

    Regards
    Brian

  2. What a thoughtful post.
    Information overload is just one side of the coin. The other side is time management. As the Type A personality that I am, I try my best to use my time wisely, and to be as efficient as possible.
    No small task.
    I get seriously side-tracked with twitter.
    I was reading another blog somewhere (Shelly S Terrell’s??) about the importance of keeping our goals & priorities in sight.
    BTW, I like your blog.
    I will follow you on twitter.

    1. Thanks Chris. I realized a few days after I wrote this post that I neglected to mention not to be afraid to use your delete button. Similar to what you wrote on your follow-up post about never touching a piece of paper that arrives in your mailbox more than once. Make a decision as to what to do with the information and then just do it.

  3. Wendy Eiteljorg says:

    Lisa,
    I was in the session and appreciated a lot of what you and Liz had to say. I just wrote my own blog post about it too. (http://thoughtsfromschool.edublogs.org/) I think for me the key thing is sitting down to look through information with the idea that this will take time and thought and not be quick, quick. Where I will find all this time, I don’t know. I just cleaned the house and didn’t find any under the sofa pillows, so no luck there.

  4. Joe says:

    This post speaks volumes to me – managing all of these resources is one of the biggest issues I face and this post proves that I am not alone – which is always a good feeling! Personally, I use Diigo to organize my bookmarks and resources. It really comes down to prioritizing which things require and/or demand more time, as you said. Thanks for being in touch with one of the realities of classroom teachers.

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