Thursday, January 15, 2009

Second Life - First opportunity!! I'm Stoked!

I joined 2nd Life about a year ago after viewing it in a preconference session with David Warlick. I thought it was pretty cool, the whole immersion thing, the community and ability to file access from the format. I joined and wandered around a little bit.
When I finally got out of the introduction part, I didn't know where to go. I found ISTE, and looked for Warlick there, but there are several Islands and have yet to find him.
My next adventure was to search for "Beach." Plenty to choose from, so I picked one that seemed mild. It wasn't bad, reggae music streamed. Some days they had a DJ. At one point they had a live performance from a guy actually playing and singing. Pretty neat, but still not blowing me away. I'm an old Tech forum rat so I didn't really want to get into the "social member" scene.
Lately people are talking more and more about classroom applications. To be honest, given the scantily clad attire of many avatars, no way I would venture there in front of K-12 students. So I have been curious about how it's being used project wise.
I finally get my first chance to do a training in 2nd Life and I am pumped. I have taken classes in virtual environments before but never in as advanced of a platform as 2nd Life. More on this to come...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Skype, Twitter, Plurk ... huh?

I've known about SKYPE for some time, but two years ago I would have been lost in conversation about Twitter and Plurk.
Combined, these three Internet tools comprise the majority of professional contact I have with the outside world. Surprisingly I find, that I use these "social networking" tools so much at work, I can't bring myself to start them at home. I like them as work tools and hesitate at much overlap between work and play.
I already created confusion by setting my Twitter to update my Facebook page. Friends who don't know or understand the nature of my work think I have lost it sometimes when they see my references to Ed Tech happenings.
I find Plurk to be easy to follow, yet sloooowww to load and use. Twitter is nice with Twhirl for quick hits or TweetDeck break things out.
Gosh how quickly my old ways change. I hardly log into the old Web Tech forums for answers anymore. If I can't Google it, I Tweet it, Plurk it, post it to my SKYPE group, or hit up a LinkedIN group.
Next week I will present a Professional Learning Network workshop. I plan to expound more on this topic after that.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Recently, at the NCETC 2008 Conference I attended a workshop presented by Jim Moulton. Fabulous and well educated man! A must see as a speaker as he drives home some very important points about our digital lives and our real lives.
(Jim Moulton's blog)
Jim gave us participants a copy of his book Computers Can, Computers Can't ..... What a wonderful read for those of us who have witnessed the emergence of the Digital Age.
Jim also introduced me to free and low cost option self publishing!
Ok, I feel like the last man on Earth.
What it has done for me is inspired me to not only start writing that novel I talked about as an English Major way back when, but to prompt my 10 year old son to begin creating his own book.
My Colleague across town Keith Ledford and I are all ready making plans to try and push a project in McDowell County using Jr High Students to capture and retell stories of their Grandparents!
Guys like Moulton who helped pioneer 1 to 1 computing in schools are truly a gem. I am proud of myself for having the wherewithal to approach him and mine him for his knowledge.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dressing up my professional self!

Here I go, as Bethany says "Into the blogosphere." If you don't read Bethany Smith from NC State, you should. @ Transparent Learning .
I have been busy the past several days with a couple of Excel projects with students, with testing (never ending in NC,) and with putting together a couple of workshops in and around my Grad School schedule.
I have not only started blogging, but I have also created a Ning and a LinkedIn group for Educators from this county. I plan to use them in my PLN training January 20th.
I also need to figure out how to install a widget for my LinkedIn, Twitter and Skype profiles.
So I feel like I am finally growing up as a Tech Facilitator! Dressing a little more like a professional digitally.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Brave New World!

Today I begin my serious efforts at an Educational blog. Enough excuses. I may even get back at Podcasting as well. I advise people on expanding their learning universe by reading blogs, so I should also contribute.
I will also make an honest and concerted effort to comment more on other blogs. If the true nature is to intellectually interact, then I need to get busy. So here I go e world, I took the first step.