Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lurking, Pondering, and Writing


I've spent the last two years subscribing to scads of RSS feeds and following more and more people on Twitter growing my PLN. As the Google Reader icon on my Chrome browser climbed showing the number of blog posts I needed to read I felt like I was part of a community. Each time I turned on tweetdeck with my computer's sound up the pinging of tweets was almost constant. That too made me feel like I was part of something big and important.

But, here is the truth.

I am not.

I am an observer. I am so busy making sure I get through the right blogs and follow the right people that I don't have time to figure out what it means for me.

I have inundated myself with information with no moments to connect it - no processing - no real learning. Instead the pursuit of the new idea is/was my goal. My Diigo bookmarks are full. My webinar schedule set. I can tell you all the people who are moving and shaking. I can tell you the most popular apps and regurgitate the jargon. But, is it changing me? Is it changing the way I approach technology??

I have used the same method of increasing my learning that I HATE in classrooms - it's almost techno drill and kill!!

I think that has been the problem in too many districts. As I have watched the conversation from outside - I see a few people in the midst of things - creating and innovating and growing. Then I see TONS of others watching and hoping that by some miracle they can replicate the same environment and the miracles will happen for them as well.

So - it's time to turn off twitter and shut down my RSS feed for a while.
It's time to stop and think about my district
It's time to focus on my students.
It's time for me to stop searching and start doing.
It's time for something new...

This all fits together because I am changing my role in the district. I am leaving behind the library and becoming the district's Technology Integration Specialist. This is a brand new position. I am it.

As I figure out exactly how this is going to work I want to chronicle my process here...I plan to use this blog to keep track of what I learn, both the successes and the failures.

And maybe along the way I will grow a real honest to goodness PLN - my own. Not one that I have been spying on, but one that I actually belong to, that I can be a member of!

Join me on this journey...from lurking to doing!

2 comments:

Denise Krebs said...

Beth,
I love your honest posting. I can relate to some of the feelings of techno-overload. I like your analogy of "drill and kill" applied to technology, too. I can relate.

I am so glad you are choosing to process your learning and make important changes. Your school will benefit from your new insights, as you and your staff really integrate technology into learning.

I feel like my PLN has grown a ton this summer because I have taken time to be involved in a few activities, like a photography challenge with teachers, the Global Read Aloud planning, and RSCON3. Having my "own" PLN is rewarding, and, maybe, by definition must be small.

Best wishes to you as you grow and process!

Denise

Kathy Kaldenberg said...

Beth,
Congratulations on your new role!

I know exactly how you feel. The tipping point for me was when I felt comfortable enough to share what I have learned and how I have translated it into action in my libraries.

Many times I asked myself, "why would anyone be interested?", but I pushed through that doubt to be delighted and surprised to learn that I could add to the knowledge base - often just with a tweet and a photo!

As you continue this journey, share with your colleagues - both new and old. I know you are going to do fabulous things and I want to learn from you!