The Ripe Environment: Connecting more than two dots.

There is a severe lack of time in the air. It pervaides every conversation I hear on many days:

“No, I don’t have time for that collaboration right now. Maybe after this quarter is over.”
“Are you sure that it has to be due tomorrow. I really think that having the weekend when I don’t have games or practices or school would make more sense.”
“I don’t even have time to think.”

Hyperbole aside, this lacking is palpable. I think it is one of the only times that a lack of something can be more heavily felt and deeply understood than the presence of it. Many people, though, have just gotten used to having no time to connect the disparate parts of their working or waking lives. It has become the film upon our skin that always coats our interactions but can’t be rubbed or cleaned off.

I am not one of those people, however. I believe that connecting the dots and creating time for that process is possible. I believe that it is all about creating a Workflow of Passion (requires a better name, but that’s all I’ve got).

When I say passion, I do not mean that you must be equally in love with every assignment or task that you come across. Instead, I mean that there is something meaningful within each thing that you do. There is some meat there, no matter how hidden it may be in the luke-warm soup of “other stuff.” The only way to craft the time to connect that meat to something else equally meaty is to plunge your spoon in and not be satisfied with the carrot or water chestnut you come up with the first time. (I would like to apologize to both the literary crowd who sees the metaphor being stretched thin and the vegetarian crowd who beleives that no one should be looking for meat within a vegetarian soup.)

So, what does this spoon plunging action look like. Well, I have recently taken to a maxim for resolving the issue of time suckage and distraction in the classroom and out.

“Use the tool that has everything you want, and nothing you don’t.”

Although the different image settings in Photo Booth are cool, the distraction factor is so high that it is nearly impossible to use it as an instructional tool (for kids or adults).

Wikipedia provides a cornocopia of educational resources, but blind searches are still stabs in the soup that lead to less than appetizing results.

The Ripe Environment is anywhere that makes information clickable, that sets the path of least resistance to learning as the norm. The Ripe Environment is a place that doesn’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t matter. It is a place that the workflow always works for the user, according to their needs and passions.

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