It’s been a busy nine weeks. My stated goal for the journey was to have the sense that I am not three steps behind the students when it comes to Web 2.0. I think I am gained on them. Although, with mash-ups and evolving technology, I may always be one step behind, I feel much more comfortable with the concepts and vocabulary. Some of the things I enjoyed playing with, like the image generators, probably won’t replace the tools I already use. Others are new tools in the arsenal against ignorance. Looking at my previous posts, I can see where each new tool caused me to rethink a task that the students or teachers perform. Some of them, like my library science students’ procedure books popped up multiple times as I tried new tools, so I will need to assess the differences in how each one could be used before I finalize the assignment. I will also need to present changes to our tech coordinator and administrative team, so that I have backing for having students on “social” networking sites and can be sure that we don’t run into blocks on the system.
I appreciated learning some new tools for my own continuing education. Both writing my own and reading other people’s blogs challenges me to look at new ideas. The RSS feeds will continue to keep me updated on developments in the library field. The discussions about tagging have me thinking about the way students deal with knowledge, making me more open to looking at searching in different ways. LibraryThing may lead to my finally getting my books organized and deciding which books no longer match my interests and should be passed on to someone else.
One thing I hadn’t thought about before starting was that my spell checker needed educating as much as I did. I wish I had kept a list of the words that I added to the dictionary.
I liked the format of the program. Dividing the Things into 9 weeks made it easy to monitor progress and was a motivator for keeping with the program. Having over 3 months to pull the 9 weeks from made it less stressful and allowed for vacation breaks or just unexpected events. Having the September 1 deadline encourages me to finish. There were times when I was slightly overwhelmed by something new, but there was a lot of encouragement available. One of the best parts of the format was that it gave me a framework to work from. I had been to excellent sessions at CSLA Conferences where enthusiastic presenters introduced blogs, wikis and podcasts, but it wasn’t until I did the 23 Things that I could understand and appreciate the value of these web 2.0 tools. When you decide to offer another discovery program like this, I will definitely want to participate. The 23 Things gave me an excellent way to model lifelong learning for my students.