The future and a stroll down the “Network Nuggets” memory lane

I stumbled across this technology-of-the-future article, and having recently watched a documentary on Netflix about Ray Kurzweil, the article is a reminder of some “out there” ideas.

For instance,
by 2035, robots could completely replace humans in the workforce and in just three years a solar farm could be built that would meet all our current energy needs (the article doesn’t say that this solar farm *is* being built, just that it could — interesting to think about the reasons that might get in the way proceeding with a project like that.)

And I got to thinking about my own 20-ish years working with internet technologies for education and how soooo much has changed.

Here’s a bit of my stroll down memory lane. For about 5 years in the early 1990s, I was the ‘Network Nuggets’ lady and, off the side of my desk as  a research officer with an arms-length entity and then later an actual branch of the BC Ministry of Education, I managed a listserv for K-12 teachers to point to interesting educational resources online. There was no Google, and it was actually kind of difficult to find things online back in those days. I started by using a tool called Gopher, and later moved up to an actual search engine called Alta Vista, which (I just checked) still exists. Now the finding part is easy and it’s the filtering that is the true challenge, although I guess I was doing a bit of that back then as well because I had to be sure that the sites I pointed to were K-12 appropriate.

To write the daily nugget, I would take teacher requests or, if there were none, I’d just think of an idea related to the curriculum that I wanted to explore. Then I’d share whatever useful resources I could find –often going with a theme-related approach: suggesting that the sites be used a a springboard to compare and contrast, evaluate particular ideas, etc. As I look at the archives, I can see that even then, I really tried to point out strategies for online activities involving collaboration , creativity and critical thinking. Also interesting is that although many of the sites the nuggets pointed to no longer exist, some (Ask Dr. Math, On-Line Writing Lab, etc.) are still going strong.
Nugget Lady



Oh, and this is what I looked like way back then…

By the way, I have to mention my former colleague David Wighton in this, as he was a big part of the development of the concept and he continued the service for a time after I had moved to a different position.

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