Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Social Networks in the time of disaster

Like the rest of the word, I am feeling saddened by the horrible devastation in Japan. This tragedy feels personal to me, as through my son's visits there (he's spent 4 summers in or around Tokyo) the host families that have been so kind to him, his close friends, and the families of his college roommates I can put faces on the afflicted.
It is hard to imagine enduring the uncertainty of not knowing if loved ones are alive or not. Facebook, Twitter, email---these tools have been a Godsend for helping folks stay in touch.
Last month's events in Egypt were fueled in part by social media. It is astonishing how far we have come and so fast.
The number of home videos of the earthquake and tsunami on youTube allow the world to share in Japan's suffering, and hopefully move people to help. The world is small. We are all connected.


I am really looking forward to Friday's curriculum day and meeting our guest speaker Richard Byrne. I've been reading his blog for a couple of years and he is an important part of my personal learning network (PLN)--to us geeky librarian types he is a rock star! How can you possibly keep up with new technology? Follow Richard's blog.

This week was extremely busy for me with Books in Action- our big union-wide party. I wasn't able to attend to many things on my plate--and one was my PLN. My RSS feeds runeth over. I'm feeling disconnected. My PLN consists of reading lots of books (books first--always), subscribing to an incredible listserv (LM_NET) for school librarians, following the movers and shakers on Twitter, staying connected to local librarian friends on Facebook, using Google Reader to follow a couple of dozen blogs. I also use Goodreads which is invaluable as a reader's advisory and book selection tool. I also learn a great deal and benefit from collaboration with my colleagues in my school. Some teachers feel isolated in their buildings, but with a PLN I think you can feel connected, supported and have contacts all over the world to turn to for advice. I wouldn't want it any other way.

I like this video as an introduction to PLNs. Ooohhh...I'm feeling a tech time session coming on!

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 2 Job-alike

Debbie and I had the chance to create a workshop on iMovie for the third job-alike of the year. We had hoped to offer this as a hands-on workshop, since we believe that is the best way for learners to experience technology. Since that wasn't an option, I was a bit nervous on how the session would run.
No worries. The group was wonderful! They really stuck with it. Great questions and an openness to giving this great app a try. Once the learning curve is accounted for, iMovie is so easy to use that is really takes no time to compile a clip. I've used it several times this week, preparing for Books in Action.
The dilemma I have is that I have version 8 at home, 9 at school and would love to get my hands on 11, the new version! The rapidness in which new versions are released is daunting. I feel this way about technology in general. The speed in which obsolescence occurs is blinding! Could we please just have 6 months in which nothing new is issued, nothing revised? I need to catch up.