The new normal you are experiencing is not new, but has been “becoming normal” for many years.
I first used the term “cognitosphere” in about 2008 to describe the rapidly-growing global neuro-network that increasingly connects everyone in the world who has access to the internet. Others have called this system the “metaverse” or other made-up words to try to describe a system that never existed prior to about three decades ago. It is the fifth truly global system; the others (lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere) have been around for much of Earth’s 4.5 billion year history.
Today in America, and multiplied many times across the rest of the world, many thousands of virtual conversations will take place amongst millions of people sharing countless ideas about an almost infinite number of topics. The growth of virtual connections is at least as exponentially steep as the spread of Covid-19; this was, after all the source of the term “going viral”.
If we just focus on education, which is a small piece of this connected system of information flow, it is fair to say that a huge amount of the human bandwidth expended in this one day alone will be spent in ways that none of us contemplated just three weeks ago.
The size and complexity of this information flow is staggering.
Some people want to capture this in a bottle. They are overwhelmed by all of the resources being freely shared and the great people who are sharing them. They ask “How can I sort through all of this? What are the best practices? Can someone or some group pull all of this together in one place?”
The answer is no; and those are not the right questions to ask. The cognitosphere has kicked into high gear in a way that is now very present for educators. You can’t “focus” it all in a way that makes it “capture-able”; that is not how this system works. The system is built on the physics and dynamics of “flow”, and the only way to benefit is to get into that flow.
I hate to sound like a member of The Borg, but the system is not optimized for any one “you”. It is optimized for the collective. If you participate, over time you will gather and share more knowledge; the capacity and capabilities of both your practice and the system will be enhanced. If you don’t participate, the collective will be slightly weaker, but it will move forward and you will be left way behind.
So, no, I am not going to try to be the one who captures our collective sharing of best practices in the current crisis, and I warn against anyone else trying to as well. Whatever we captured would be a fraction of the lessons learned and it would be immediately behind in real time. We can each do our part: participate, listen, reflect, synthesize, share. But there is no “one place to go for best practices” in the metaverse. That model has been increasingly busted over the last 20 years, is completely busted in the current crisis, and will be increasingly busted even when the crisis is behind us.