Exploring web-based technology challenges today’s educators to remain students themselves. Recently I presented a workshop on digital identity and social media to a group of receptive teacher-librarians. Despite their willingness to learn, question, and explore it became apparent that there was no avoiding the overwhelming flood of information. With so much to consider and so many technical skills needed it’s akin to being information soaked by a fire hose. These topics and tools are complexly interrelated and have their own language and expectations. And even though I was the guide for this particular session – I realized I related to how they felt. I have experienced the dazzle and thrill of classes taught by Dr. Alec Couros, and know firsthand what it is like to wonder if I could possibly keep up. It was a colleague of his, Dean Shareski, that I remember telling me to go slowly and give myself time.
The web opens up endless possibilities for educators. Its constant state of flux means the only thing we can truly master is our ability to learn. I was honoured to work with the teacher-librarians that attended the workshop because their passion for learning was palpable, and they were committed to working through complex ideas and technology. For myself, I continue to proceed at my own pace, and savour every opportunity. While I’m pretty decent at technology, I’m no tech superstar. Luckily, I know many technical experts through my PLN and don’t hesitate to tweet for help when necessary.
So I’m going wading, and if the water is too cold I may have to acclimatize for a bit before venturing deeper. And that’s ok. Because I am going swimming and I’m planning on getting my hair wet.