Remember When we Couldn't Know EVERYTHING?

I'm lucky enough to be a part of the generation that was pre-cell phone and pre-Internet and I like that.   It makes me appreciate the information-rich, communication-saturated world we live in.  I remember a time when four friends were sitting in a car and someone posed a question, 'is it farther to New York or Panama City from Indianapolis'... an no one knew the answer.  AND NO ONE COULD FIND OUT!  We just sat and wondered and continued to... not know.

Those days are gone.  Smartphones, 4G, WiFi, etc. have created an information atmosphere that blankets most of the developed world.  While there has been a lot of ink spilled on this in the last decade, I had a realization the other day.
"There is no excuse for not knowing something."  
It happened when Joey and I were designing the plumbing for some rain barrels.  We don't know anything about plumbing or rain barrels for that matter.  We read research online, watch videos, and looked at pictures--we could probably start a rain barrel consulting firm at this point.

There are some major implications for education in this new world.  Why do we stress memorization in school?  How much school-organized PD training do teachers  really need?  How can schools and libraries stay relevant in a world when all of the collective known knowledge is floating in the ether?

Whether you want to build rain barrels, learn French, or find a better way to teach fractions--all you need is a computer, a connection, and the motivation to explore.  There is no valid excuse for not knowing something that you want/need to know... besides laziness.  It sounds harsh, but its true.  In addition, ubiquitous information also raises the bar both professionally and personally.  We should expect excellence, especially in our professional lives.  The cliche' 'where there is a will, there is a way' has never been more true.  By the way, Panama City is closer to Indianapolis by 48.4 miles.  Thanks Google.


  1. Informal education is unlimited and unique. There are no limits in informal education. It depends upon your points of view and skills that how good you learn. It is all about your learning ability. Read grab my essay reviews to join the community of essay writers.

  2. That was wonderful time of not-knowing. Surely those who was born in that period know the richness of information. Sometimes speaking with younger generation, I figure out that they can't even imagine not-knowing times.


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