So - it's time to turn around and reflect on where I have come.
I have spent a lot of time playing with many of these tools before class started- but that's all it was...playing. I had not made the jump between my personal experiments and my library. This summer helped me to pull those two pieces together. It gave me time to hone my skills and discover new places to explore! I loved that!
So - what are my take aways??? IN A WORD...GOOGLE
First: Google Reader.
I love this tool. I had a list a mile long of blogs I followed now and again...but they are on my DEAD computer. Google reader makes it possible for me to access the blogs from whatever computer I have in front of me. I LOVE that!
Kristin's organization and usage suggestions also made this a more helpful tool. I had played with Bloglines and just got more and more confused. This is clean and easy.
But - her most important suggestion is to keep a short and managable list. This is something that I REALLY need to work on. I keep growing my list.
Goal for this year: Cull my list to those I am really interested in. That will be my focus.
This is another awesome tool. I've changed my home page to iGoogle and keep tweeking what I want to appear and where. This is such a great way to organize the things I really am interested in. This also solves my stupid dying computer issue. Because it's online I don't need to worry about loosng links.
Goal for this year: Keep organizing and subtracting from this page.
Third: Google in general
I was in an ITEC (Iowa Tech Convention or something like that) workshop a couple of years ago on google and all it's extras. It was too much for me at the time. There are so many pieces of this that I really like and want to learn...after the summer spent loving iGoogle and Google Reader I think I'm ready to play with a few more toys...like Google Earth, Google docs and all the Educators possibilities
Goal for this year: Explore Google for Educators and share with my new staff
This Google love is all so unexpected. I have sort of felt that it's trying to take over the world and now I am becoming a believer...little scary! But it's just too good to miss!
This takes me to my PLN...like my blog list it just keeps growing...I have started using twitter and am trying to figure out how that fits in to the whole PLN idea.
I will continue to follow Joyce V and Kathy Schrock and Kristin S and Will Richardson and Warlick and and and...
That continues to be my problem. But - as I use twitter the posts are short and focused - in some ways that's easier for me to deal with than long blog posts. I tend to be a skimmer and twitter may be my best friend.
I also plan to stay connected with the amazing talents that I have been attending grad school. There is so much knowledge and experience and energy in our cohort - I'm really looking forward to growing up our skills together! I feel honored to be a part of that network!!