Sorry Not Sorry…

…saying “Web 2.0” isn’t cool. Picture this. You’re filling your reusable water bottle at office cooler. Two colleagues walk in and you overhear one say to the other,”Oh, that’s a great WEB 2.0 tool, Johnny.” You’re confused, right? You cringe a little because the term “Web 2.0” went out with the late 90’s. No? Aren’t we all going to spin class so we can stay young and NOT walk around with old terminology on our tongues?

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I’ve noticed the term is thrown around like chalk stubs amongst aged faculty members in smoking jackets reminiscing about the time they challenged Deep Blue or whatever. UGH. Since my goal in life is to be the coolest old person EVER, I’m still suspicious of the term and feel uncool when I use it myself.

 

HowEVER, if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a lifelong student is that you should always check your assumptions. So I did. Check out this super-illuminating video about what Web 2.0 actually means.

So…what do you think? Is the term legit? I’d love it if you’d share.

 

Check Yourself

So…do you do it? Do you do it in the privacy of your own home or in public? Do you do it while eating ice cream or while you’re trying on that new dress at the mall? How do you do it if you don’t know you should do it?

I’m talking about your assumptions, of course.

We all have assumptions about things that we feel absolutely sure we know. How do we know to ask questions of ourselves if our assumptions are never challenged? One way to check yourself is to surround yourself with people who challenge you. People who aren’t afraid to ask hard questions and make you unpack your claims to the very bottom of the suit case.

If you’re like me and have people like this in your life, you probably don’t like them much. Even though you don’t like them, you probably value them more ice cream. You probably even value them more than the new dress you just bought at the mall.

Sorry…thinking about food and shopping again. Dang distractions.

So…these people who challenge you…I bet they constantly want you to go into detail about claims that you make. Oftentimes they task you with doing things you say you can do or will do or should do. These pesky folks are worth their weight in gold though it may seem like they are the ankle weights you put on when you do your Jane Fonda workout tapes.

The value of “friends” like these is that they make you a better person. Even when you think you’re already pretty great, a sideways glance tells you there’s still a long way to go. Roll on, Jane Fonda, roll on.

Questions Have Power

Have you ever been in meetings where the chairperson seems to have some kind of mind control over everyone there? Yes, you say? Well then. Allow me set a bit of a scene for you.

There are a bunch of Real Live Adults (the kind who seem to know what they’re talking about) with carefully coifed hair sitting around a huge oak table in power suits. They come into the meeting with a ton of objections to whatever agenda the chairperson is pushing. Those objections seem valid and the way these Real Live Adults spin their point of view is convincing. The Real Live Adults seem to be winning the day when the Chairperson cuts in with a few pointed questions…essential questions, that is.

What is an essential question? Essential questions are open ended, engage the intellect, make you use your thinker, they are transferrable to other disciplines, and they usually stimulate other questions (McTighe & Wiggins, 2013).

So, next time you’re in one of those uncomfortable meetings where everyone has an ego and a goal, ask some essential questions to up the ante on the mindset and remind everyone why they are actually there. To solve problems and move forward.

McTighe, J. and, & Wiggins, G. (2013). Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding. Alexandria: ASCD.