Great meeting of the F2F Network today, a group of like-minded educators who meet face to face every few months to explore personal use of technology and how we can best use it. After blogging for a few months, I shared my frustration at not being able to commit to more regular entries. Others are at different points in their exploration of social media, some much further down the path, some still pondering how they want to put it to use. It was an “aha” moment for me when the point was made that we first have to decide what the purpose of technology is for us. I know that my main purpose of blogging is to communicate with staff and parents about what I consider to be important learning opportunities. I would also like to somehow knit together my role as principal with my other professional role as I transition to being a counselor in private practice at the end of this school year. I hope to connect with others who seek to understand matters of the heart as well as the intellect.
An important part of our conversation tonight was around how we use technology to connect. As Li and Bernoff (Groundswell, 2011) put it “concentrate on the relationship, not the technologies.” (p. 18) It’s about creating a community of others who are interested in exploring the same ideas as you are.
I must confess to being a little reluctant to embrace social media, as I worry about looking, or I should say, sounding silly. I also worry about taking time from connecting with friends and family through more traditional means. Time is always an issue; I don’t want to lose out on valuable opportunities to connect through face to face meetings, phone, personal email, etc. I worry about becoming addicted to the computer, and not keeping up with my many other interests. On the other hand, I am convinced that there is much power behind social media, and I don’t want to miss out on the chance to learn alongside my friends. I have several friends both professional and private who are blogging and tweeting. I definitely feel more connected to them when I read their blogs and tweets. I enjoy reading about other people’s learning adventures, and the personal growth that they are experiencing.
So here I am, dipping another toe in.