“I felt like I had fallen down the rabbit hole.”
– Darren Kuropatwa in Interview with Margaux Watt, “Up to Speed” November 28, 2008.
That’s how I feel! I feel like I’ve stumbled into an alternate universe populated with enthusiastic educators engaging students in meaningful learning. Here are a few things I’ve learned in my exploration of the Read/Reflect/Write/Participate Web so far:
- Blogging isn’t easy! I’ve never written for any audience other than students, colleagues and teachers so learning how to begin a conversation with an online audience is quite a struggle.
- I’m going to change my mind more often now than ever before. For example, between last week and this week I’ve changed my mind about which tool I should introduce to colleagues first. I might follow Chris Rabeck’s suggestion of November 27 – Awakening Possibilities -” If there is only one thing you do after tonight, make it be that you join Twitter“. I would also follow Vicki Davis’ suggestion – “The first step is to get connected to other educators and keep up with the latest developments.” She suggests a RSS aggregator is the place to start. (“Time to Grow” by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay, k12online 08, October 27, 2008) I feel invigorated in my new and expanding professional learning network, and would like my colleagues to share this feeling of “connectiveness”.
- My hand-me-down iPod does more than play music – It’s a valuable and powerful Professional Development tool. I’ve turned down offers for rides home because I’m looking forward to listening to a Web 2.0 in Education podcast on my bus-ride home.
- Keep a notebook handy to write down quotes, inspirations, new ideas and to keep a To Do list – Here are just a few things on my current To Do List:
- Make an avatar and join Second Life!
- Try out RuneScape
- Try out authorSTREAM for for storing, sharing, and presenting PowerPoints
- Try out Slideshare
- Learn more about uStream
- Find out what Moodle is all about
- People give you a funny look or try to read what you’re writing when you take notes on the bus – Since I’ve started listening to podcasts on my ride to and from school I’ve had to write down a great quote or idea from time to time , which appears to be a great curiosity to the people around me.
- Be Honest – Don’t misquote, misrepresent, plagiarize or “fudge the truth”. The Web 2.0 world has built-in and authentic accountability measures. Moderators use e-mail notifications and RSS feeds to monitor the content of their wikis and blogs. People are using vanity feeds to monitor what is written about them, and they will keep you accountable.
- Like Bud Hunt, I’m Fascinated with the intersection of the private and personal” ( “The Lie of Community: The True Nature of the Network” k12online 08 Audio channel, October 31, 2008) I love Twitter. It’s not only entertaining and lighthearted, it’s helped me network, keep up with what’s new, get inspiration and almost immediate suggestions for my inquiries.
- I’d rather make mistakes and learn along with my students than lose touch with the reality of their world.
- There is nothing like the awesome feeling one gets after receiving a comment from someone far away: For example, I took pictures on a field trip to the petroforms in Whiteshell Provincial Park and I posted some of them to Flickr. The next day I noticed my very first RSS feed from my Flickr uploads:
“Hello, I very much like your petriforms from turtle in de snow pictures , and I like to ask permision to use your pictures on a non-profit forum in Holland/Belgium. This forum is about information on turtle/tortoise in general, here is a link www.schildpaddenforum.net (written in Dutch) If you like I can give you credit,
I started an e-mail conversation with Hans Meijer and shared it with the students who were naturally thrilled to learn about this exchange of ideas.
- “The NeverEndingSearch” is much more than the name of Joyce Valenza’s blog – it’s a way of life.