Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reflection on Jeff Utecht's Presentation: Online Professional Development

As I watched Jeff Utecht's K12 Online Conference presentation I had to laugh. It's the middle of July, I'm working on a K12 Online Conference session created last October, my Twitter is flowing with information coming out of Ewan McIntosh's live keynote at the BLC Conference (I actually paused the presentation for a while to drop in on the Ustream of the keynote) and I'm interacting with others through email as this all occurs. My own interactions sort of mimicked the interactions Jeff had in his presentation. I love how he just sat and demonstrated how he connects with his network through these tools and more. Through my work on this course I have grown to see the power of the network and there's no looking back now.

I used to use my RSS aggregator as my main way of connecting with my network. I started small by subscribing to David Warlick's and Will Richardson's blogs. As I read their thoughts on their blogs they connected me to more and more bloggers that I found interesting to read. Since last summer and my experience at NECC07 I have been using Twitter much more as my way of connecting to my network. I had found the graph on the presentation's wiki really interesting because it absolutely nailed me as a Twitter user. When I first signed up for my account I found it foolish to see what others were doing. I really didn't care that someone was having a BLT sandwich for lunch. However, as I got to use it more and more I found that there was a ton of value within that network. The key is getting through the start of it and building a significant list of people to follow. Just as I have to skim my feeds in my RSS aggregator I have to do the same with Twitter. I now find Twitter to be an indispensable tool.

As I think about this it makes me ponder the new skills required to learn in this sort of environment. More importantly, are kids learning how to do this? Kids are known as multi-taskers. Do they know how to simultaneously follow a Twitter stream, RSS feeds, Instant Messenger, and a steady flow of email without losing their focus? Is it a big deal if they lose their focus from time to time? I often lose my focus and end up in all kinds of different directions. As I mentioned earlier in this post I set out this morning with the goal of watching this presentation. About half-way through the presentation I stopped it and started watching the BLC keynote address. As I watched the keynote address I was interacting with others in the Ustream chat room and Twitter (I actually got the link to the Ustream through Twitter).

If anyone out there is interested in following me I can be found:

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My Skype: michael_d_arsenault

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1 comment:

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