Wednesday, September 26, 2007

reflections during the holiday break

I really relate to NZ blogger Jane's post "Troubled" where she reflects on the feeling of overload and disruption that her online life is giving her. She asks: "I suppose my question is... In the long run is this connectivity helping me or harming me?" Read the whole post and the comments to get a real sense of what the issue is. With all the stresses of teaching I know I have received much benefit from social networking tools, ideas, connections and a real sense of purpose. But sometimes being involved in these networks gives its own stress. Not being able to keep up is one. There is a feeling of being in a moving train as I catch glimpses of people's lives flashing by on slideshare, webcasts, podcasts, blogs, (love the new URL), twitter, flickr, and so many others. I can't help feeling that I want more, I want to meet you guys face to face to say thank you for what you have given me, walk with you, talk to you all, but that's impossible if I still want to live my own life. It would take several lifetimes to be able to do that.

Anyway, enough of the rant. You may have noted that I have put Answertips on my blog. I have tried to put it on the class blogs where it would be very useful, no doubt, but James tells me it can't be put on edublogs or learnerblogs for security reasons. It seems like a great addition to a school blog where readers can double click any word and link to a dictionary definition of the word. It also links to "fast facts on millions of obscure words, personalities or slang."

Secondly, the Directory of Australian Edubloggers is going really well and has lots of new entries. I have gone back to having an open password - I had changed it due to vandalism - I hope that it has stopped by now. So it is time to do some more reflecting, some planning for next term, and go outside and - mow the lawn. If I think of it I will post a picture of that momentous event.


  1. Jo
    I think you have hit the nail on the head, there is too much to keep up with and the feeling that you don't want to miss out. There is always a new 'toy' or application to play with. People are always twittering their finds and blogging about great applications (I need to have a look at WiZiQ) and it is hard to pull back and concentrate on one thing. I want to do it ALL !!!

  2. Jo,

    I've had this "starred" for a while to remind me to respond.

    I struggle with the issue I've raised: I am very comfortable with some basics (blogging and tagging, in particular) and that is more than "adequate" for the district I teach in. But I read constantly about what others are experimenting with (and mastering) and it can be intimidating for a low- to mid-tech lady.

    Even IMing is almost impossible for me, since I need to reflect then construct responses (as you can see from this comment!).

    I enjoy the new world and am assimilating it one piece at a time. Guess I'll have to live forever to keep up.


  3. Angela Maiers12:44 pm

    Jo-As a new blogger, this post really hit home to me. Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me. It is exhilarating and overwhelming at the same time! Just when I think I have a new tool down, I hear about another one! It is good to know there is support out there! I love the sharing-I love the learning!!!

  4. This Answers fix might work for you, if your students can use Firefox. Simply install the Firefox Answers add-on. Firefox > Tools > addons > get more addons > search for Answers.

    It does the same thing as a WP plugin would do.

  5. FYI - I'm feeling the need to pull back too. I find my Twitbin more off than on these days, simply because I can't handle the distractions.

    Graham has an interesting post about slimming your Twitter network.

    I think it may boil down in large part to whether you're a classroom teacher with that load, or a specialist with more time to play. Something has to give if you're the former. And it's not the number of tools you use so much as the quality of your pedagogy, isn't it?