Technology Will Kill

One of the lessons that teachers working in digital spaces HAVE to learn is that a complete reliance on any ONE digital tool and/or service is a recipe for disaster.

This video by Erik Qualman explains why.


The moral of the story is a simple one, isn’t it?  Technology is constantly improving and advancing and changing and adapting — which means those of us who rely on technology need to be constantly improving and advancing and changing and adapting too.

Need an example from my life? 

I’ve spent the past few years madly in love with RSS feed readers — simple tools that automatically check my favorite websites for new content and bring that content back to me.

My RSS reader is LITERALLY the first place that I turn every time that I want to learn something new simply because it makes me more efficient.

Because my reader is automatically collecting new content from my favorite sites, I know that every time I log in, I’m going to find something that is interesting and professionally challenging — even if I only have five minutes to explore.

Here’s the hitch, though:  The first RSS Reader that I fell in love with — Pageflakes — went out of business about two years after I started using it, and NOW the replacement service that I found — Google Reader — is being killed off in July of this year.

Talk about frustrating!  I literally spent months tinkering with both services — figuring out just what they could do, customizing settings so that they acted just the way that I wanted them to, and finding ways to incorporate the lessons that I was learning into the work that I do with teachers and with students.

And now I’ve got to start all over again. I’ve got to find ANOTHER feed reader and experiment with MORE settings and learn NEW lessons that I can share with teachers.

But that’s the nature of living in a digital world, y’all. We have to be digitally resilient.

We have to understand that our lives are not over when our favorite tools and/or services go belly up.  Instead, we need to see the death of trusted tools as opportunities to experiment with something new — and quite probably, something better than we ever could have expected.

 Any of this make sense?


Related Radical Reads:

New Slide – Digitally Resilient

Openly Sick of Being Digitally Resilient

Epic Tech Fail Day

Epic Tech Fail Day Summary


  • BriannaCrowley



    I feel your loss as I too have loved Google Reader and have toyed with how to incorporate it into my classroom. I even considered basing a whole reading intervention currriculum from the RSS service! But the real lesson here is adaptation. For all that technology offers us in saved time and new opportunity, it also takes time from us when its rate of change sometimes out-paces our ability to deeply adapt and use its tools. As we adults learn this lesson, it is crucial we reflect on how to pass this lesson on to our students. They will watch our reactions to change and potentially imitate them. 

    So although I’ve sent my fair share of tweets to #savegooglereader, the face I will give my students is one that embraces the change and looks for the benefits of new tools or patterns. How do you plan on communicating this new development to your students? 

  • JudyNewhouse

    Heard, too!

    I feel the pain of losing Google Reader as well. Please share what you will use next. Thanks!