The Importance of Isolation in a Highly Connected World

I wrote this in  “The Innovator’s Mindset“:

Today, isolation is a choice educators make. Our connectivity and learning opportunities have changed in recent years, and, thankfully, many teachers are taking advantage of those changes to benefit themselves and, more importantly, their students. We have access to information and, equally valuable, to each other. We need to tap into that.

The quote in bold is one I often share in presentations and recently, after being tweeted out, someone said (paraphrasing), “I agree that collaboration is important, but I also need my alone time as well.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Yes, we have access to educators all over the world, and I believe that education has made a dramatic (positive) shift in the last few years.

But, that being said, there is so much information out there and so many connections, we have to ensure that we have time to think and implement better ideas into our work, not just connect.

Here is the challenge for ourselves and our students today. With so much focus on collaboration and an abundance of information, how do we find value in our own isolation to think deeply and create connections to personal understanding while learning to slow down and effectively process content when information is flying at us at an expedited rate?

With every “positive” innovation that comes our way, there are negatives that we have to identify and understand.  “Connection” is something that can be beneficial but only if we grow internally. I sometimes know that “over-connection” has drained me to a point where I cannot focus on what I need to do personally. I cannot give much value to others when I am running on empty.  And if we are being honest, not all connections are beneficial, and sometimes, we have to know when to cut ties with those that do not make us better in the relationships and circumstances that need the most attention.

In a world of so much collaboration, finding time for ourselves and our thoughts is seemingly rare, but never less valuable.

Source: George Couros