Recently there has been a series of rapid fire introductions to new tools ustream.tv,
operator 11, google presentations all propelled to the forefront through the invisible connections of twitter and other social networking sites many are connected to as part of their learning communities. I have to say at times I feel overwhelmed with all of the discoveries passed on, trying to find the time to look, explore, evaluate, and understand the potential either for classroom use or as a suggestion for use in someone’s own professional development. I have to be cautious of what I pass along, classroom teachers may be likely to try one new thing in a year’s time so I can’t throw too many things at them and hope something sticks. I have to have a clear understanding of how the tools are being used by others in education, have examples to share and talk about. In all of the commotion of new tools I also have to deal with whether these new tools are accessible in my district. Not all are, filtering seems to work differently everywhere. I have to be mindful in this area as well, when something is blocked I have to try to figure out why, and before I ask to have anything unblocked I must try think through my reasons to ask for the filter to be lifted and the ramifications of having the status changed. At times I feel as though I am on a never ending road that twists and turns and sometimes I just wish for a flat stretch to get my own bearings before thinking about sharing one more new tool that has appeared and captured someone’s eye.
Update: How does anyone else do this, how do you decide what has merit to introduce as tools you feel has value, what process do you go through? I am looking for help, suggestions, models to follow, you see in my district I do not have anyone else to bounce these ideas off of and feel at times at a loss for what direction to take. Thanks for your help!