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What have I learned? March 4, 2009

Posted by handspiker in Uncategorized.
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Alec asked near the end of class last night, what have we learned from our experience within 831. In reflecting on this last night and this morning two things have become more clear to me as how this class has impacted upon myself.

Firstly is the idea of excitement and potential. More comfort level with technology has seemed to increase exponentially. I find myself asking questions, can I do this? How can this be done? Can I use technology to better this? I am not as frustrated with technology on a whole. When things go wrong I solve them in a rational manner, thinking things through. With this chip off of my shoulder, I am actively seeking out ways to improve and connect to students, parents, colleagues, friends, and family through technology. Just this morning I thought why couldn’t I use a Blog + Google Docs (the form option) to create a survey to gather info on the upcoming Regional 8: Drama Fest. With posting the menu online and having students/directors/chaperones fill it out, in a nice spreadsheet form I will have everything I need to prepare, in exact numbers, what is needed. No more counting by hand. I would not have thought of this prior to this course, and it is exciting to figure this out.

The second way this course has changed me is in my idea of sharing. I have always shared before, and will always continue to do so. This course however has convinced me to reach out and interact with more people through sharing/talking/asking. I am excited to share these ideas I have running around in my head. Jim [Snodgrass] and I have been talking tech like mad, sharing ideas and thoughts about how to use technology creatively. Just the other day I was telling him about the PowerPoint option of WordPress and he was telling me the ease of Podcasting. We seem to spark one another to try and develop our ideas, maybe even pushing one another into new areas, perhaps trying to out do one another [much like our golf games]. But to share with a colleague in person or online has been an awesome experience. Ironically it has placed me as one of the “tech experts” on staff. That is a scary thought!

Another thought on sharing comes to mind. As I have been working on my final paper I found a resource that sounded much like my project. I was excited and scoured the Internet for it with no luck. It has been discontinued and even the publisher has no e-copies of it for sale or to share. My excitement quickly turned to disappointment. However I thought with academic sharing why no contact the author. I fired them off an email and two days later the author emailed me a copy back of the paper. Wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for but it showed to me that the spirit of sharing was alive. I had this doubt in back of my mind that they would offer the paper to me, perhaps the pessimist in me coming out. I emailed them back thanking them profusely. Would I have done this prior to this class? Probably not.

So this class has opened my mind to new ideas/thoughts, it has created a thinker open to new ideas and challenges, and one willing to share. How can one not be impressed with a class that does this?



1. stephen king - March 5, 2009

Amen! I feel much the same way although I do not have someone on staff to share in my experiences. I still am having success talking to colleagues and it is changing the way I think about gathering information. In fact, I’ve set up a google docs spreadsheet to keep track of staff attendance with my secretary. She took to it right away.

I’ve also used google forms to design an activity for a career ed class. I never would have known these things without the class and the sharing that everyone does. You get to a point where you are not even really sure of what you knew before the class started or where you first heard an idea

2. trevor gerwing - March 6, 2009

This class certainly is forcing me out of my comfort zone. It is hard to believe, but I am finally figuring out this wacky internet thing! Most importantly, this class has forced me to the realization that the internet is not static or unidirectional, but dynamic and interactive. I am, however, still intimidated be the whole thing.

RE: The above comment regarding using google docs is interesting, I may have to try that.

3. courosa - March 6, 2009

Thanks for all of this. You’re definitely getting somewhere … not that you were ever that far of being. But so much of this is MINDSET over skill.

Incidentally, my first aha moment (about 9 years ago) was when I was critiquing an article and when frustrated, did very much the same thing. I emailed the author and asked him how he would critique his own article. We talked on the phone for about an hour, and my work was done for me. It really opened up my world, and shook my prior belief that there was sort of upper class of thinkers in the world that hoarded their knowledge and were unapproachable. In this regard, the world is much more flat that we know.

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