Although it’s Spring break, I’ve been pretty busy this week. I’ve developed another strategy for keeping well-informed in the area of educational technology and finding and tagging along with people who have a similar passion. As promised in an earlier post, I’ve been actively utilizing twitter. Because of those people I follow, I’ve had a chance to listen in on workshops broadcasts on Ustream.tv, I’ve expanded my list of blogs that I read, and I’ve developed a use for a web2.0 tool called Diigo. It’s pretty amazing how busy these ed-tech people are. Every few seconds, someone posts a message about a new blog article, preparing for presentation to their staff, or sending out a notice about a live stream of their workshop. There are also recommendations for great sites (hence, the new use of Diigo) or requests for technical help.
There is a really cool phenomenon among those I follow in twitter. People I follow post information about themselves that goes beyond the professional stuff. There’s been news about lost jobs, the need for new jobs, sick children, and the lost of a parent. The twitter community is extremely supportive. The community is always willing to offer advice, job leads, and offers of prayers. It’s an awesome community.
This blog entry by vanishingpoint explains twitter as a PLN opportunity extremely well. He says, “Twitter has opened amazing learning opportunities for me occasionally the 100+ folks that I follow post so much information I need to archive it to get to later. But THAT IS A GOOD THING! It proves to me and frankly forces me to continuously be grazing information (a skill in itself) and learning continuously.” I couldn’t agree more.
On the other side of the coin, I find the process intimidating. After all, I am following some really smart people. I’m not yet comfortable twittering about my blog posts, and I don’t Ustream.tv any of my workshops. I’m pretty proficient, but I can’t offer much technical advice to this bunch of “geeks”. I’ve yet to find a voice in the world of edu-bloggers, so I can’t provide any words of wisdom. For now, I am happy just to follow all this wealth of knowledge, and maybe someday, I’ll make a really substantial contribution to the community.