In just 4 short years how lives change! When we moved to Thailand from Europe in 2005 we didn't take our TV with us - it was getting rather old - but we bought a new one as soon as we arrived. On leaving Thailand for Switzerland this summer, however, we decided to give away our TV as nobody in the family had watched it for about a year and a half and having been in Switzerland for 6 months now without a TV I can truly say we haven't missed it at all (though I do resent having to pay a TV licence because according to the Swiss the house can still actually receive a TV signal!)
What I have noticed personally is a change within myself from a consumer of knowledge to a producer of knowledge. Watching TV does not allow me to interact with knowledge, allow me to leave a comment, remix it into my own words, or interact with the author in a true and meaningful way.
Social Networks, and the social web (also known as Web 2.0) allows me to not only consume but easily produce knowledge of my own. It is this interaction with knowledge that leads to new understandings and pushes me to think.
For our 16 year old daughter, Facebook, Skype, IM and so on has made such a difference to her transition here. It's a tough age to move halfway round the world and leave all your friends and have to start again - but it's certainly made easier when she can keep in touch with them on a daily basis. For me the move has meant that I have become a blogger - I started blogging last year when I knew we would be leaving Thailand so that friends and family could follow our adventures. Since coming here I've started this blog too - tossing out ideas about teaching and getting marvelous feedback that helps me grow as a teacher. When times get tough, I know I can rely on my PLN to pick me up and point me back in the right direction again.
PhotoCredit: Multimedia Message by Rockcreek