Monday, November 9, 2009

Putting it all together #fail

This fall, I've been teaching a class called 21 skills for 21st century teachers. I'm aware of how cheesy the title is, but there you have it. The teachers who have attended are an amazing bunch! There are teachers of kindergartners and teachers of seniors and everything in between. The age range is from early 20's to mid 60's and you certainly can't tell who is most willing to innovate by checking their birthdates.

This Thursday is our last class, and I've titled it putting it all together. The catch is, I'm not sure I can explain how to do that. I certainly don't have it all together myself! I Twitter, and I learn a ton from my twitter network but I haven't figured out the twitter lists yet. I haven't checked for new twitter followers to follow back in way too long. On some Nings I'm a pretty enthusiastic participant, on others I just lurk and there are more than a few I joined and haven't visited in ages.

There are so many exciting tools that I "sorta" get. I "sorta" Diigo, but I mostly use it for myself rather than collaboratively. Google docs? Yep, sorta. I just learned today that I can create a form and send it out to students without having to embed it in a blog or wiki. Who knew? Not me, but I bet a thousand other people did. Don't even get me started on what I don't know about Google Wave.

I love TED talks but have downloaded far more than I've actually seen. I'd really like to organize a supper club around TED talks. Or at least drinks/apps. My Goodreads page is woefully behind, but I'm up to date on reading my friends' reviews (I think). My RSS was overflowing, but in the upgrade to Windows 7 last month, I opted not to transfer my Flock info over and am slowly rebuilding my RSS in Google Reader. I'm much more selective now about adding a blog to my reader, and while I'm sure I'm missing some great conversations, I'm at peace with it.

Where do I seem to have it together at this particular point in time is podcasts. I've been running a bit more than usual, so I've listened to some podcasts that way, plus I've been listening live (and hanging out in the chat rooms) more as well and learning a ton. It's just what's working for me right now.

As I compiled this list, I've come to realize that this may be what the next 20 years is going to be like. There is no "inbox 0" in my virtual life. It's messy and it's going to stay that way, with ebb and flow between resources depending on what my intellectual needs are and what is going on in the non-virtual part of my life. There is no "all together" in the 21st century, but there is constant growth and learning and that's the best I can do. Learning to live with that ambiguity is possibly the most important of the skills we're all learning.