Can I use these quotes in my own work?
Feel free to use them in PowerPoint presentations, handouts, research... wherever they seem to fit. Please cite the source. If one is not provided, then the source is simply "jasonOhler.com."
For the most part, quotations come from books, columns, and keynotes. Those included here are favorites of readers, conference goers or the author himself.
- Beware of pain you get used to.
- Let's brand BYOD: On/Off. On when we need students' devices for learning, off when we need to talk and do other things that might be distracted by devices that are left on. BYOD: On/off. Healthy, balanced, possible.
- From mass media to mass me-dia; of if you prefer, From mass media to mass my-idea.
- From mass media to mass wedia. Social media in a nutshell.
- To be fully literate we must be able to write well whatever we read; we must be able to produce whatever we consume. This means being able to write new media.
- Will it be two lives or one for our children? Will we continue to order them to unplug while at school, or will we invite them to bring their tools of learning into the classroom so that we can help them integrate their two lives into one healthy approach to living?
- We have the tools to create any kind of society, and thus educational system, that we want. The question now is, What do we want?
- Imagine the following as a mission statement for a school or district: Students will study the personal, social, and environmental impacts of
every technology and media application they use in school. Seems obvious when I say it aloud. But good luck finding a school that has adopted anything close to it.
- Wisdom is turning hindsight into foresight.
- The human condition in the digtial age: we are old, we are new. On the one hand, e-mail, wikis, and YouTube can be seen as very new forms of communication—after all, all those wireless bits flying through the air landing on someone’s screen a half a world away certainly is different. But on the other hand, we can also see them as simply our latest efforts to expand and improve individual and group communication using the tools at hand, a desire that dates back to our earliest ancestors. Both perspectives would be accurate and important in the formation of a complete picture of who we are today.
- I link, therefore I am.
- The real challenge for each of us is to balance the connections and the disconnections offered in digital community and to develop a personal ethical core that can guide us in areas of experience that are in many ways unfamiliar.
- I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it.
Art the 4th R.
Because of the emergence of multimedia technology, the 3Rs are becoming the 4Rs: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic,and aRt. Thanks to the struggle to use multimedia effectively, the language of art is taking center stage.
- Having too much information is no better than having too little since neither allows us to act more responsibly.
- Rock 'n roll began with Sisyphus.
- The future is a very individual thing, lasting only as long as you do.
- Our imagination always outpaces our technology. The gap between the two is the distance the creative spark must jump in order to ignite our forward momentum.
- The only thing worse than having 500 channels of television is having only one.
- Before you suspect conspiracy, don't rule out incompetence.
[Source: Then What?, first heard from Dick Meeker]
The tecosystem (TEE-ko-system): the secondary ecosystem consisting of people, technology and connectivity. The ecosystem fails slowly, but the tecosystem can come crashing down in seconds.
The science of teaching is knowing a number of different methodologies. The art is knowing when to use which.
- When surrounded by jerks I just remind myself that it could be worse -- I could be one of them.
- If we don't use the technology to make art, the technology will make art out of us.
- Everything created by us contains our bias.
- The desire to be more than ourselves has always been with us. In the old days, we stuck a lever under a rock in order to lift something that couldn't be lifted directly by human effort. Today we plug our levers into a wall socket.
- Nostalgia is the irrational longing for limitations.
- There's a fine line between being a visionary and a village idiot.
- The most elusive substance in the universe is nothing.
- Technology is anything you notice. The rest is just intelligent furniture.
- Whatever you believe, that's who you are.
- All technology is an amplifier...and what happens when you give a bad guitar player a bigger amplifier? Ouch!
- The attitude is the aptitude.
In this era of disposable knowledge, it’s your attitude toward learning that determines how smart you are.
We consider people who walk rather than drive to the corner store good users of automobile technology because they know when not to use it. Unfortunately, this is not a perspective we bring to using computers in our schools.
- If you don't love learning yourself, then please, do the students of the world a favor: don't teach.
- When I die, friends, I implore you: put the fun back into funeral.
- Mass Meatia (MEAT-tee-uh): Thought for food.
- We are compelled to use technology because without us it seems useless--no sense letting all that negative entropy go to waste. But when it breaks we discover who really owns whom.
- On Word Processing: Editable words, edible worlds: You eat what you are.
Three variations of the Catch 77 of the technological age:
- We do, because we can.
- Because we can, we must.
- Yes! Whether we need to or not.
- Holism vs. reductionism: The sum of the parts vs. some of the parts.
- What does the phrase "the seasons of man" mean to a woman living at the equator?
- Machines don't evolve--dreams do.
- All cultures require their young to serve apprenticeship in the ways of the machine. Schools for tools, as it were.
- The inherent insidious message in all this multimedia hoopla is what Weizenbaum called the pig principal: If something is good, more of it must be better.
- Romanticizing the inevitable makes the future tolerable.
- You win some, and you lose some, but you dress for every game.
[Source: Then What?, first heard from Mike Birch]
- Consider this: It used to be that if you actually knew how to do something at the end of a four-year degree, that was a bonus. This has reversed. In the new economy you need to be competent, and having a degree has become the bonus.
- When we limit the big picture to functional considerations only, we open the way for robots to replace us.
- Whatever deity runs spaceship earth is at least as large as all of us, plays no favorites, and wishes no part of creation any harm...praise be to networking for it makes us all one!
- Life is school house earth. Class is always in session and the only way to get a passing grade is to die without regret.
- We'd die without our filters, don't you think? After all, what's makeup, or a fancy haircut, or an inflated sense of self-importance? They're all filters...don't you think?
- The only thing scarier than being overwhelmed by information is putting our minds into the hands of someone we don't really know to do our thinking for us. But in an age of information overload, it happens all the time.
- It is common to think that everything is changing in the high tech age, but the past and future agree on one central idea: both expect us to accept the present without questioning it. The past required this in order to keep a culture from changing, while the future is moving so fast that we have no choice. The past is a slow boat to nowhere new, the future a rollercoaster with no time to reflect about direction.
- One of McLuhan's often told quips: A man walks into an antique shop and says, "so, what's new?"
[Source: Marshall McLuhan]
- Most people don't read McLuhan, they quote McLuhan.
- The conscious experience of technology is often negative, so we try to forget it's here. We are happiest when we pass through our machines, like a child playing an arcade game, or a painter who is unaware of a separation of hand and brush, eye and canvas.
- The information inundation we demand sometimes acts as a floodlight, illuminating everything all at once and making it impossible to hide anything, whether or not anyone is looking for it. Where the floodlight is aimed depends, of course, on who controls it.
- Picasso said art is a lie through which we see the truth. Robert Frost said that poetry played a small but vital part in life, like a carburetor. McLuhan said that it was the artist's job to act like an early warning system, a beacon in the night piercing the fog of uncertainty and reporting back about what lies ahead.
- Some of our technology will be programmed for kindness, but others will have an attitude, showing the same impatience with us that we now show with it.
- Don't let their shiny, detached exteriors fool you. Even robots will need mythology to differentiate themselves from the outsiders among them. Like us, their complexity will exceed their ability to understand who they are and they too will turn to mythology to avoid chaos.
- Computers are like Latin...
We assume that Latin is all but extinct except as the language of scientific classification and the Catholic mass. Yet, it is everywhere, lurking just below the surface, like the word computer itself, and like computers themselves, which are everywhere, whether we see them or not, embedded in the things we use every day and don't think to think about. The computer world gallops off with our lives without our knowing it, unstoppable, invisible, invincible, forever with us, forever changing how we live and speak, forming a subconscious layer of culture...just like Latin.
- Time may be money but they differ in one important respect: you can always make more money, but you can't make more time.
- I may own my claw hammer, stereo and mountain bike for the rest of my life. With any kind of luck my car will last a decade. But my computer lives on borrowed time from the day I purchase. This is the bargain we make with Bill Gates: give me more power, and I will discard something that is still quite useful.
- Someday our machines will show the same impatience with us that we show with them.
- In the future we will be able to do virtually anything but nothing really.
[Source: Mark Whitman, friend, musician, baker by profession]
- From atop the moral high road, people appear a bit blurry. Up too close they also appear blurry, but you feel their heat.
- We are drops of reason in oceans of emotions.
[Source: Theology professor, David Belyea, perhaps quoting someone else]
- Go with the flow vs. know before you go.
- Technology is something we want to pass through, like a good interface, so we can get back to the business of forgetting about it.
Agreement is in the ear of the beholder:
- - Muddite: Go digital!
- - Luddite: Go ditch it all!
- - Muddite: Exactly!
- Suppose there existed a Science and Technology Administration (STA), which, like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was charged with assessing the possible impacts of a technology before it was released into mainstream society. Suppose you were a member of the STA. What questions would you ask about a technology as you sought to understand its potential impacts?
- Technology is a measurement of distance between two cultural reference points.
- In an age of digital magic, "seeing is believing" has been obsolesced. Much of the digital age flies in underneath our radar, achieving a kind of super stealth because we suspect nothing and even if we did we are too busy to investigate. Digital trickery mocks us if we are trusting, dares us to be vigilant, and then laughs when we fail to catch it in the act.
- Technology is so much more than itself. It is an arena, a lens, a totem etched with legends which each story teller tells differently, a high resolution mirror reflecting our blurry, vibrating cultural personality, and so much more. But it is never just itself.
- Coffee and anxiety, the lifeblood of commerce, pump through my body and urge me forward.
- There's what you say and what you mean. What you say is what we hear. What you mean is what we really have to listen for -- the meta-meaning...
- According to my research, fully 82% of relationships that lasted more than 20 years (in which respondents said they were still happy and still loved their partner) cited friendship as the number one factor contributing to their longevity. The other 18% cited things like separate vacations, sharing the same computer platform, and the fact that it never occurred to them to be unhappy.
- Networkers have a unique perspective and a special duty to help because we, more than others, understand that hurting or helping one point in a network hurts or helps the whole network.
- Possible slogan for a distance education program: "Do distance ed. That way you don't have to live here!!!
[Source: overheard at a meeting]
- We are all two people when it comes to technology: the philosopher and philosophee. The philosopher in each of us declares genetic engineering to be wrong because it dilutes our genetic diversity and puts the power of the gods in the hands of human beings incapable of responsibly dealing with it. The philosophee, on the other hand, can't get genetic therapy fast enough when it promises to help someone s/he cares about. Our technology splits us right down the middle, creates two people, and then pits one against the other to such an extreme it seems like a design flaw in nature. The art of living gracefully in the technological era requires balancing and reconciling these two.
Maybe some day we will all consider ourselves citizens of cyberia first and will choose our governments second. Maybe we will choose them the way we choose any professional organization to belong to. Maybe we will commit to them for a certain period of time and then, depending on their track record, either renew our citizenship or go elsewhere. We are all connected and something's gotta' give!
Moral: There's where's your mind vs. where's your behind and sometimes the two just don't align!.