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Damming The Information Flood

I enjoy learning new things and new ideas, and understanding global changes. And I learn a lot more now – than in the previous years. That's because I've learnt to build a “river of information” into my brain. I have became more intentional and deliberate about my learning.

I follow several blogs by education and ed tech leaders. I also enjoy reading reports from the world of business, news and articles from the Economist, New York Times, etc., and McKinsey, BCG, SoL reports on organizational research and leadership. All of these and several colleagues and professionals are part of my PLN. Each week I would visit different sites to catch up on news and info, use RSS feeds in my Google Reader to stay updated on trends, and read the messages in my listservs to stay current and connected.

Couple of years back, Scott Klososky shared the concept of “Building a River of Information” at our ASB Un-Plugged conference.

It’s similar to creating a PLN but uses tools to collate and organize information from multiple sources in one place. And it uses a more interesting metaphor :)

“We all have a river today – it might just be a small little creek. The outcome of building a powerful river of information is that you will have a much better command of the thoughts, ideas, and events circulating on the web in your areas of interest. You will have real time information instead of learning about things weeks after they might happen. There are two kinds of knowledge that are valuable – one is a robust inventory of knowledge on any one topic. The other is a timely set of knowledge about the events that have happened in the last 36 hours as it were.” (Klososky, Technology Story, March 2010)

I created a powerful River of Information to support my learning. This has helped tremendously in organizing my different channels of information – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, Daily News, podcasts . . . I use Netvibes to create an organized, selected digital flow of information using tools like RSS feeds, eNewsletters, blogs, Twitter feeds, Diigo groups and tags, and other social media sites.

I invest approximately 45 minutes to an hour daily studying my river. I am able to tap into ideas from experts and smart people in education and a range of fields, share thoughts and ideas, construct my beliefs, and build my knowledge. I learn a lot from my river. Occasionally my river gets flooded :) But most times it stays within its banks.

How do you organize your information and your learning?


author credits


Educator, Consultant, Presenter DR. SHABBI LUTHRA is empowering educators, students, & parents, & building powerful 21st century learning environments. She is currently the Director of Research & Development, at the American School of Bombay.

Image Source: Martin

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