Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Snow" day in September and musing on Web 2.0

Yes, that's right, I am writing this at home in my pj's at 10am on a Tuesday - YES, I should be at school, NO I am not sick, but we are home because of our 2nd "snow" day, which really is a rain & flood day off from school. For those not in the metro Atlanta area this sounds like another CRAZY thing us southerners do, cancel school for RAIN (my father was laughing out loud when I told him) - but really, look at this:

I have never seen this much water in my life, my neighborhood is ok and from what I could tell yesterday, my school is fine, but there are schools in our district that have parking lots and fields under water and I have heard that a few schools even have water IN the schools. It is CRAZY how much rain has fallen in our area since last week, I have heard reports that in my area, 18" of rain has fallen since Sunday - and to think we went through a severe drought last year!!

Since I am home from school, I am doing a little thinking about web 2.0 tools and the way I use them. I have posted before about my online time and how I have tried at times to "back off" being online so much (a failed attempt) but while while I have been thinking of ways to streamline my use of these tools and also thinking about ways to TEACH these tools to my staff (and maybe to other media specialists in my district) I have come to a few conclusions:

Facebook: - I will admit, I am obsessed, but I have figured out that although I have a few "work" related things on here, this is my personal time. I keep up with family & friends on here, I vent about my kids on here and share pictures of my kids doing funny things on here, to me this is personal networking and I am keeping it that way.

Twitter: I had signed onto this last year and then never used it - but THEN I checked out a few "professional" contacts on Twitter, had some new people "find" me and I have been hooked ever since. Twitter is my "combo" tool.. I use it to connect to people professionally, librarians, authors, book publishers and teachers and it is also my Red Sox nation source, and who knew that I would become "twitter friends' with a librarian who is ALSO a Red Sox fan! I have gotten so many journal articles, blog posts and information from my Twitter followers. I recently sent a tweet out about wanting to find some readers theater resources and I got a few GREAT suggestions from fellow media specialists and teachers. This to me is a tool I can use for many purposes, although it is SO hard for me to express myself in 140 characters or less!

Blogs: Although I don't blog as much as I would like, I still find it a great source to share and "meet" other media specialists. This blog is (mostly) a professional blog, although I have been known to "talk" about my kids, the Red Sox and Jon Bon Jovi, I mostly talk shop here. In my Google reader, though, I do have 2 different groups set up, Mommy Blogs (which, really, I should change the title of that to personal blogs) and professional blogs, and I cannot tell you how much information I get from these people. Being a media specialist is sometimes a lonely job, you are the only person in your building who does what you do and people "just don't understand" what you do some days. Reading these blogs not only gives me ideas on how to do my job better, but also is like sitting in the teachers lounge with my "grade level".

All the other stuff: there is SO much more to Web 2.0, photo sharing, ning groups, wiki groups - it would take me 3 days to talk about it all, but I think that it is my JOB to know what there is out there, although it is also my job to figure out what will help me, personally and professionally and stick with those tools that I am comfortable with.

Here is a great article by Joyce Valenza about using these Web 2.0 tools to teach kids. Here in my school district, many of these tool are blocked, but if anything, I wold love to teach the TEACHERS about these tools. The kids are using them at home, wouldn't it be great if we could teach them that they could be doing a little learning too while using some of these! I love what Buffy Hamilton (one of my Twitter friends) is doing with social networking and high school students, I can only hope that somewhere down the line, I can incorporate these into elementary classrooms too.

Well, I am going to check out what kind of damage there is in our area, I hear the park where we play baseball and football is under water!

1 comment:

Jen Robinson said...

Enjoy the time at home! I hope that the rain stops soon. It sounds overwhelming. I did enjoy reading your comments on the different web 2.0 tools, especially Twitter (probably b/c I, too, have been really enjoying finding new fellow book-and-red-sox fan kindred spirits.