The First Shovel

When I was early in my teen years, a neighbor hired me to do some construction which amounted to digging ditches around a house to relay drainage pipes. After the first few shovels of dirt hit the small pile, the immensity of the task ahead of me became glaringly apparent. As a young teen, this was no big deal; in fact, it probably served to blow off some of that excess energy. Where did that stuff go?

Walking away from #edcampbos, I was energized in the way only good professional development can. I haven’t made my way through hardly any of the copious resources put out by that day of collective sharing, learning, and teaching. The one area I have started to make some movement on is the education bloggers group on Facebook. I managed to get two docs in that group organized a bit, to follow all of the Twitter handles, and to subscribe to all of the listed blogs. My goal after this blog and my other is to settle in with my iPad and get some nice reading done while I work on a scanning project that gets amazingly tedious without another task to occupy my mind.

Unlike my youthful experience with shovel and mattock, this project is something of my own choosing, and it excites me. There is a lot of work, none of which is critical, but all of which I want to do. It is just a matter of selecting where to dig in for greatest effect because I cannot do everything I see to do already. I am sure as I get going, the scale of opportunity will only increase.

I Am Spam, You Can’t Hear Me Roar

For a while now, my posts on Technological Ontogeny have not even been showing up on my own timeline or News Feed in Facebook. I don’t know what happened. My other WordPress blog shows up fine. My only thought is that I accidentally used the x to close out a post rather than clicking back and inadvertently marked myself as spam. I have spent some time looking for my own spam filter, but I cannot find it. There are lots of helpful sites that show where it should be, but under my Timeline -> Activity Log -> All there is no spam option as is shown on all the helpful screen shots I found. Mine is just missing. Hmmm.

I used IFTTT to automate posting to Facebook. That showed up, but it is not as clean as from the WordPress App. So with this blog, I will now manually add entries after I have finished them.

I imagine a clean world of clear rules that can be understood and followed. However, the rules for different sites change and are so complicated that the effects are somewhat unpredictable. This is doubly so when accidentally declaring oneself as spam. Yes, I am processed meat in a can.

Screen Time

Since giving my Internet safety talk, several attendees have approached me to thank me for what I presented. I asked each person what they took away as most meaningful. One that stands out is being conscious of what we as parents model for our children. In my role as a technology educator and even before at a classroom teacher, much of what I did was electronic and carried with it a commitment to a certain amount of screen time.

In my effort to really push my development, I have upped that amount considerably. This blog plus my other one on parenting, much of my time at work, and keeping up with RSS feeds eat up many hours a day. All of this work, however, is on the creative or at least educative end of the spectrum.

On the entertainment end, I have found myself spending more and more time watching movies and TV series on Netflix. I also spend time on Facebook and other websites. When I am healthy and motivated, this additional screen time disappears as I utilize that time to read, do home repair, create art, do projects, and follow my whims in the physical world.

As with other things, I am working on changing these habits regardless of how I am feeling because my children are at such an impressionable age. They will see me pick up the phone whenever someone calls, they will see me grab my iPad when I am board, they will see me at the computer for work. They see it all. Today as my daughter and I walked to the grocery store, her imaginary phone rang, and she had to answer it and have one side of a conversation with her friend from school. She is just modelling what she sees. If I don’t like what I see, there is only one place to go to change that.


Slowly, Slowly Walk the Path

As I thought about this post, a Silly Wizard song popped into mind. Well, to be fair, the phrase slowly slowly walk the path did, and after some quick research on my iTunes and then on the web, I accessed all the lyrics to the song Golden, Golden. As often happens, the phrase seemed right, but the message of the song missed the mark.

Slowly, slowly, walk the path,
And you might never stumble or fall.
Slowly, slowly, walk the path,
And you might never fall in love at all.

Golden, golden, is her hair,
Like the morning sun over fields of corn.
Golden, golden, is her love,
So sweet and clear and warm.

Lonely, lonely, is the heart
That ne’er another can call its own.
Lonely, lonely, lies the part
That has to live all alone.

Wildly, wildly, beats the heart
With a rush of love like a mountain stream.
Wildly, wildly, play your part
As free as a wild bird’s dream 

No, this really doesn’t relate to my slow pace of technological growth as compared with the leaders of the ed tech field or to my own goals and standards, but it is a very sweet song. In relation to my learning curve in ed tech, I am slow, but I do love it.

In this endeavor to keep two blogs daily, I have had to take some things slowly. So far, I have not had time to add in links to other blogs and do all of the connecting between my feeds that I would like. Today, however, I think I have successfully set up both my DaddingIdeas blog and this one to post automatically to Facebook and Twitter. It is part of the tangled web I am trying to weave, but it goes slowly.

I am constantly amazed at the output of the leaders in the ed tech world. Some, I must assume, even have children and other demands on their lives, but they still are able to consume and digest prodigious quantities of information that they then make available to us on blogs, tweets, etc. 

Yet I stay on this path, even at the slow pace I tread, because it energizes me and because it is now inextricably linked to my job. If I do not explore the available technology out there, then I can not make good recommendations to the teachers at my school about what to use and how to integrate it in the classroom.

So it is not in order to avoid stumbling and falling as the Silly Wizard lyrics admonish, it is just my avialable time and energy as well as my level of efficiency and skill that keeps me at this rate of technological development. And even at my slow pace, I love it!