I'm getting overwhelmed. I'm finding so many outstanding blogs that I'm having a hard time figuring out where to start. There are tons of teaching blogs out there and tons of Ed. Tech blogs that I'm really starting to enjoy. However, I'm finding out this world is much bigger than I imagined. My bookmarks on del.icio.us are growing by the minute. The list is still very small compared to what's out there, but I guess I better start small - there's only 24 hours in the day.

I have to start narrowing down my interests. There's so much I want to learn more about - RSS feeds, Google Reader, Twitter, Ning, and others. I haven't even touched wikis yet. I'm using Bloglines - and I find it very useful. I'm in the very early learning stages of Twitter, recently signing up. I have no idea, at this point, how it works. If you have an idea, let me know. Look me up or something - if that's possible. I'm pretty sure my user name is imcguy. Should I learn more about this before moving on to something else?

Should I focus more on my blogging and less on other Web 2.0 tools? Should I focus more on reading the good stuff that's out there commenting on it rather than worry about how many people will comment on my blog? I'm upset when I don't get any comments - should I even care? Should I continue learning more about del.icio.us and how to share my bookmarks? What tool should my students start using? What would they benefit from first? So many questions.

This learning environment is huge. There is no way I could get this information from the teachers in my building, my department, or even my district. This is truly incredible. Now, how can it benefit the kids? How can I get classroom teachers to see the value of this? How can this increase test scores - or can it? While we need to prepare students for a future that most likely doesn't exist yet, how can we teach these skills when there is so much focus on getting our students to be proficient learners. These tech skills will help them as they get older, but I'm not sure how they will get kids to pass the test now!

4 comments

  1. Bud // November 26, 2007 at 10:52 PM  

    LOts and lots of questions - I can feel the excitement as you write. My advice? Start slowly - all of those are great places and tools and ideas to explore. Make a list and work your way through them. I know it seems like a big and perhaps impossible task, but you'll begin to see connections as you slowly and thoughtfully work your way through the list. Just make sure to document what you learn as you learn it via your blog.

    Good luck!

  2. HappyChyck // November 27, 2007 at 9:23 PM  

    I know exactly how you feel! So many options! I signed up with Twitter months ago, but I haven't done anything with it other than watch other people rave about it. I'm afraid of it consuming my life!

    I recently gave up trying to use these kinds of technology to enhance my classroom instruction. The district blocks so much! My team was building some resources for our students in wikispaces, and we were LOVING it, but then that site came up blocked one day, too. Too bad because I had ideas for collaborative student projects...If there is one tool I thought I could really use well, wiki was it.

    What do you have in mind to with del.icio.us? Are you hoping to offer it to your colleagues so they are aware of great resources? I'm curious, as I use mine purely for personal reasons, but it sure has been handy at times to open up my "digital file cabinet" to my colleagues. (Check out EnglishRocks if you want to see an account gone wild.)

    I recently created a del.icio.us for my students to use instead of the blocked wikispaces I created with links AND instructions. It seems silly to make another, but when I look at mine, which is everything and anything important to me, it's a little overwhelming for the poor middle schoolers. My students are very computer savvy, so I am hoping they'll catch on to the usefulness of organizing and sharing their bookmarks.

    I look forward to reading about more of your journey!

  3. Pissed Off // November 29, 2007 at 10:36 AM  

    Thanks for reading me. Now that you are back, I have to add you to my side bar.

    At my stage of life, blogging is entertainment (and stress relief)

  4. Joel // December 8, 2007 at 10:53 AM  

    I understand your consternation! I started seriously reading blogs a little less than a year ago. I have been online since 1995 and was aware of blogs, but never bothered messing with them.

    I have even set up a few blogs in the past, but they were really only personal journals or whatever. I had no idea how large the world of blogging had exploded.

    My advice at this point is to stick with what works. Don't get overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once. Pick a project, and work it up to a high level of expertise. In that process, you will find that the other toys are much easier to handle later on when you attack them.

    I have recently come to the conclusion that multitasking is one of the least effective ways to be productive. Just as with debt elimination, all of your extra efforts should be focused on one target. That will free you up to focus deeper when you move on.

    My blog gets TONS of visitors. I currently have 159 pots and only 259 comments. My first 30 posts (5 months of blogging) have a combined total of 21 comments. My latest 30 posts (even excluding the Carnival of Education, have a combined total of 51 comments. Don't beg for comments. Reply to the comments you get. More will come.

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