Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blogging is connecting

I feel connected to a teenager I've never met. I've only experienced a glimpse of his creativity, through a blog , fed through ASCD. I felt a connection to another who viewed his video and recognized the talent it took for "the guy who actually CAME UP with the idea, worked out the entire order of words to make it work, and figured out the movements to put it all together which require[d] a very creative mind that alone deserves attention".

I'm envisioning how this video will connect people all around the world. There will be conversations, similar to the quick conversations about a poor teenage beauty contestant who couldn't gather her thoughts, we'll continue our daily activities, and wait for the next connection. Longevity is no longer a criterion in making connections - it has more immediacy.

I feel connected to Ian Falconer - I owe him an apology for assuming that a mere reference to his creative magnets would be sufficient to pass along his mental property. On the other hand, the potentially nameless owner of these hands will propel a movement, probably farther reaching than the Macarena, improve the sales of mp3's of this song as others want to show friends that they can recreate his creativity.

George Siemens provides several different tangents from connectivism, putting it succinctly in context with better known learning theories using his espace articulate presentation than I found in his traditional book. At least he incorporates learning 2.0 with offers of customization of the text to suit specific needs.

Take a moment to connect with an upbeat message - pun intended. Click play below.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Diva Without a Stage?

The Kite Runner, a very moving journey where a man explains "I became what I am at the age of twelve". This poignant book-club read of the Ladies of Yanbu International School 2005 by Khaled Hosseini was the connecting thread that took the conversation from mapping a language arts curriculum to a more personal level. Jill was kind enough to give me the next book A Thousand Splendid Suns which had been given to her by a student, as long as I promised to pass it on. I knew it must be a good book, as I had been similarly inspired by The Red Tent.

I can't keep my promise.

I haven't read it yet. Since June. Not a page.

This reminds me of the journey to Web 2.0. The tools are there, but can be easily tucked away on a shelf - just not opened, not used.

I am on the computer constantly - I work for a consulting service which specializes in internet-based tools - php easy-to-use software for educators. Memories of Web 1.0 code start to trickle back into my mind from my 1997 introduction to "Assistant Webmastering" just at the entry point of WYSWIG html writing.

It is so easy to post a blog. Online photo galleries offer an awesome way to keep up with growing nieces and nephews. I experienced sales through the internet. Heck, I can even send bridal and wedding gifts without getting out of my pajamas.

So why is it a challenge to stay on top of my assignments in a class designed to teach me to teach Web 2.0?

The book is on the shelf. I haven't cracked the cover to read the pages and take the words into my life. It's a matter of using these tools to simplify my life.

Soon. So I can keep my promise, and pass it on.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Ohmigosh! It's real!

Why is it that the phrase "have to" becomes our incentive to try something new? Creating my own blog has been on my "want to" list for over two years, yet it is not until I'm forced to do this for a class that I take the initiative to do so. Regretfully, this is unbelievable simple, and the pain of missed opportunities floods my guilt sensors.

The next step will be to see if I can make something useful of this page, avoiding the temptation to type over 90 words a minute of endless streams of thought without purpose or direction.

If ancient civilizations could build such wonders as these, hands on stone without cranes or jackhammers, what is the fear factor that stops us from exploring new possibilities? Is it only when we can stand back and admire our handiwork that we see there is nothing to fear but fear itself?