At a Loss for Word-le?!

Yesterday on Twitter I saw many messages that Wordle was down due to legal issues and its fate uncertain. I was in a bit of a panic since I use Wordle weekly for the PTChat and Edchat summaries. Thankfully, as I was writing this post, I discovered Wordle is back in business.

What do we do when we are so passionate about a technology then it vanishes?

This has been my first real scare with a tool, but I have had a similar sense of loss with places (SIMS) I have visited in Second Life. They disappear and I miss them, because the reality is that some of these tools and places do not have options that are quite the same. In Second Life, it was a record shop where it always rained. The sound of flowing water soothes me and that is why I loved visiting this place. Yesterday, the tool was Wordle. Rumors tell me that in the future, this tool could be Twitter.

Technology continually changes…

With these changes, some technologies are replaced with newer versions. Some just disappear. Recently, Jeremy Harmer posted this question in his blog,

How should I face new technology? With enthusiasm or disdain?

Jeremy was saddened by a recount from his taxi driver of how he lost his newspaper job with the advances of the print industry. Read the rest of this great post for more of the story.

Embracing Technology with Enthusiasm

If you read this blog, you know I love technology and integrating technology into my curriculum. I love that it opens my students to the world. No matter what their English level, economic background, age, or cultural background, my students have the unique opportunity to display their work to a wider audience and they are motivated by this. I have seen shy students shine through technology. I have seen challenging students find their passions through technology. I have witnessed the English levels of my students increase substantially.

I will never face new technology with disdain, because technology has been advancing since the beginning of time. Humans are continuously finding ways to make life easier. However, I think people miss technologies. It is frustrating when you learn something then you have to learn another technology. I can imagine how difficult this was for people during the Industrial Revolution. History books have you believe that people were so thankful for technologies that completely revolutionized lifestyles. How about the television, fire, the wheel, electricity, and automobiles? I bet people struggled, especially when they could not afford these technologies. I remember when books were not available for everyone and reading was only taught to the elite. In former times, social divides were even larger and many people didn’t have access to new inventions. This has only slightly improved.

I realize I am also susceptible to feeling a sense of loss. This loss is not only for the technology, but I believe it is a sense that someday I may find that the world I was born in is completely different than the one I am leaving. The world will continue to keep changing and improving without me there to see it, embrace it, or experiment with it.

Right now, I embrace technology with enthusiasm but I still love to play the records on my record player on a rainy day.

Record Shop in Rainey Town, Second Life

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Which technology would make you feel a sense of loss if it completely disappeared?

Flickr image by Tiltonlane / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

6 thoughts on “At a Loss for Word-le?!

  1. I was so worried that Wordle was going to be down for a while. I had just hooked a couple of teachers and my wife on it and I didn’t know what do to! I didn’t even know about Wordle two months ago and I was worried about how it was going to affect my lessons. It is funny how quickly we can get dependent on any new form of tech. If my computer or internet goes down at school, it could be terrible depending on the day. I try to have tech free days in the class where it is discussion and note taking based just to keep me and my students on our toes.

    Great post Shelly. Keep them coming.

    1. Nicholas,

      Some of these technologies just bring so much spice to the occassion! I would have missed it as well, and always have a non-techie alternative just in case.

  2. I panicked about Wordle too. I know how you are feeling, Shelly. I feel the same. We live in a fast-changing world but, unlike the new generations, we remember the times when things were more stable. Great post.

  3. I love new technologies. I love learning about them, being challenged by them and figuring out how they can improve learning. But I also have a sense of loss when a technology dies out. It is hard to get attached to a tool only to have it disappear. I am so glad that Wordle is back to fight another day!

  4. Hi my name is Jessica Purvis, I’m not sure If I said already in another comment on another blog post you wrote but I am a student at the University of South Alabama studying to be an elementary teacher. I’ll be commenting on your blog for the next 3 weeks as an assignment given for Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class where we’re learning about how to use different technologies, how we can use them in the classroom, and just how to be tech literate teachers and life long learners in general. I will be summarizing what I have read on your blog and the comments I have left in a blog post on my blog by March 21st.

    I’d like to start out saying that I am thankful I was assigned your blog to read! You have very interesting and useful things to say, and your blog is actually quite enjoyable to read, I look forward to reading it every week, and I have included your blog as a part of my PLN.

    I’m only 22, I have a MacBook, Dell computer, iPod, cellphone, Wii, and several different accounts for websites ranging from Skype to Facebook to Classroom 2.0 and Edutopia, and I used to think I knew a thing or two about technology, but I know nothing. I’m finding this class extremely difficult and overwhelming and as soon as I feel comfortable using a certain technology it seems to become outdated and there’s something new I need to learn. So I guess I’m also feeling a sense of loss with technology. I feel like I’m struggling to keep up! So it’s not surprising for me to hear that twitter could be here today and gone tomorrow. But, I do feel that it is incredibly important that I learn all this stuff and continue to learn and advance to become a tech literate teacher. I agree with you that students should be opened to the world that the benefits of that are enormous, and technology allows this to happen. I think its wonderful that you are using technology in your classroom and that its having positive results. Its inspiring to me that your confident with using new and different technologies because I am not so much; something about the unknown intimidates me, but I’m finding the courage to take it head on and reading teachers blogs like yours gives me the confidence to do so; to see you all tech literate teachers be successful with using technology in your classrooms.

    Glad Wordle is working again! We’ve used Wordle in our class, and it really entertains me, and has given me many ideas on how I could use it in my classroom one day.

    You can visit my blog at http://purvisjessicaedm310.blogspot.com
    The class blog is http://edm310.blogspot.com

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