I just realized today, after reading a myriad of posts in dozens of blogs reporting on the NECC and BLC conferences in the US that, with one possible exception*, I have never met another "edublogger" face to face.
This week, thanks to some new social networks at Ning, I've met online some Argentine edubloggers (none from Catamarca yet), and one from Guatemala (I'm waiting to see if she's from anywhere near Tacaná). These connections, and the possibilities they hold, amaze me every day. Some would even say the world is getting flat.
The world looks flat to some people because they are on the rooftops of high rises, waving and cheering to each other across the gaps; closer to each other than they are to the people on the ground floor of their own buildings.
To carry the metaphor further, visibility at ground level is so bad that people can barely see across the street.
While a relatively few people are becoming ever more connected, there are still millions who never go to school. I have known adults who did not know how to look at a photograph or how to dial a phone. I have known children who died of diarrhea and adults who died of measles. I have known women who didn't know if they were widows, because their government wouldn't tell them. ICT? Information at that level is scarce, communication is paralyzed, and technology is busted.
This isn't about guilt. It's about the frustration I feel that, in spite of all the talk about bridges, the bridges are connecting like to like. I don't want to give up the technology we have, and I don't think we should. Yet at the same time we can't leave so many behind. Sure we need bridges, but we also need elevators, chair lifts, moving sidewalks. We need to connect vertically as well as horizontally.
*a friend who blogs mostly on politics, occasionally on school politics.