Oh dear, just checked in again at my blog and was aghast to think that it has now been more than a month and I have fallen off the wagon again as far as posts go. What a shocker……. Why the lack of posts? Have I gone lazy? Is my brain mush? Perhaps I’ve had nothing to say? Maybe I’ve fallen off the perch?
Well actually it’s got something to do with all of these and then again it’s got nothing to do with any of them. If anything the reason lies in having far too much to say; through being extra busy whilst at the same time being gazzumped by some of my colleagues who’ve posted quicker, (and often more cogently than I could have), at the same time finding the distraction of Twitter forcing my thinking into all manner of laneways, alleys, (and sometimes cul de sacs). It is only now that school holidays, (note as I am no longer directly in the employ of the education department as my wife Vicki notes, I am unemployed :), I finally have the time to commit to hitting the keyboard once again.
So what’s been happening? Well a quick review of the calendar shows up the following have taken up a lot of my time, during this last month;
- Nine conference presentations
- A full day workshop on Web 2.0 in the classroom
- Two presentations for preservice teachers
- Assisting a colleague in the preparation of a PD presentation on the use of Web 2.0 across the school
- Assisting another colleague in the preparation of a funding application to foster digital storytelling in her classroom
- Conducting an information session for parents on Web safety
- Conducting a professional development activity for casual relief teachers who find themselves in classrooms with interactive whiteboard is installed
- Helped to set up around a hundred new blogs, amongst a range of other normal tasks.
Along the way I also had the pleasure of meeting with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach who generously spent some time at our house on her way to a conference, where she was presenting in Lorne.
As part of these developments I have begun to redefine the way in which I present my sessions. Instead of using CD-based materials which have in the past, I’ve decided that it’s far easier to provide the same material and at the same time be able to update it more readily by a using a wiki. As a result, there are now six online presentations available under the online presentations tab above. One of these in particular, digistories seems to have struck a chord with teachers. It has had some 4000 hits since it went up at the end of the first week in August.
Along the way as I gone through these various activities there have been ample opportunities for reflection and some serious blog posts however, as is patently obvious, I haven’t done this. Lots of other things have served to get in the way. Twitter for one is a definite distraction. Not only do I feel the need to keep monitoring, just in case something important goes past, but I find myself too often actually going back over the last 24 hours of tweets. This of course takes up time. However, it’s because many tweets only carry part of the message that I often end up with multiple tabs, opening up and worse still, only a passing recognition of why those tabs are open. This of course necessitates revisiting the Twitter window to confirm why, I have the tabs open. Pretty soon 10 to 15 minutes have passed and productivity has gone out the window. Now, add this to a Skype window that often pops up, a random chat, and more than 20 or 30 minutes can pass, and by then. I will forgotten completely the task I had in hand and what suffers but the blog post.
They are both also have other attendant problems that encroach upon my productivity. Often I have had in mind a post or an idea for a post only to see a tweet arrive announcing that said tweeter has already posted a post about that very subject. You have no idea how many drafts are in my unpublished folder.
I have however been busy on that of other fronts, including updating my edublogs tutorial and creating a new tutorial for Getting Started with Wetpaint wikis. One other happening worthy of note was the session I conducted for parents at one of the schools I work in related to Internet safety. Each of the 250+ students in this middle and senior area of the school have their own personal blogs. In addition, each other unit has a unit blog that the teachers use to exhibit student work, as well as for keeping parents abreast of other happenings within the room. The school also has its own blog which carries the school newsletter and other new. With this burgeoning use of Web 2.0 across the school, it was decided to conduct the evening, in order to assure parents that what the students were doing was assisting their educational progress, as well as being safe. Accordingly a suitable night was agreed upon, and the invitations were sent out by the school newsletter. To show the support of the school, at least one teacher of each unit across the school came along to support the assistant principal at myself to conduct the evening. Imagine our surprise then when the number of staff members attending the evening, outnumbered the parents.
One can ponder as to why there were only three parents, who attended on the evening. Maybe we just got the wrong night? Maybe they feel their children are already safe enough on the Internet? Maybe they trust the school implicitly to keep their children safe and away from potential problems? Maybe they have no appreciation of the potential problems? Maybe they don’t want to know about potential problems. Whichever way you look at it though it’s interesting and perhaps slightly disturbing that we didn’t have more numbers there for the evening. As alluded to above information I had gathered together have been put together in a wiki at Web Safety 4 Kids.
Okay time to hit the Publish button, or this post too will languish in the archive alngside the 14 other drafts.