What’s so great about BLC?

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I posed this question on twitter:

Writing a blog post/summary of #blc10 Help me. What is was/is your greatest learning moment of the conference? I’ll add your tweet. Go…

Here’s what I got:

A small sampling of responses but take some time to see if those ideas resonate with you. On a side note, notice the number of people that learned that weren’t even here. That’s pretty cool.

What amazes and pleases me is the way in which ideas and concepts seem to arise time and time again but in different context and forms. While diversity exists and is welcomed, so many of the sessions and conversations are focused around good teaching and learning. The tools and shifts we are exploring are being used as ammunition to support the practices which makes living and learning in 2010, a great place to be.

Reinventing Yourself

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Would you want to?

If you could stay exactly who you are in the physical world, but reinvent your digital identity, would you?

As I was sitting is Michael Wesch’s phenomenal keynote yesterday morning, I started thinking some more about my digital identity and jotted down some questions.
  • What would I do if I could go to a new school and reinvent myself?
  • Would I erase everything from the Cloud?
  • Would I include pictures of my children, family and friends online?
  • Would I share all of my lessons, presentations and my blog?
So I was watching the Tweets this morning from #BLC10 and saw the link for a site from MIT fly by. I had been meaning to check it out and when I got to the Keynote, I pulled it up and, unfortunately, got a little nauseous as I watched my life unfold before my eyes. http://personas.media.mit.edu/personasWeb.html
One of the many statements that Michael Wesch said that will stay with me was that we should make our place in the world.  If you aren’t leaving breadcrumbs for your students, your friends, family and followers, why not? If you could reinvent yourself, what would you leave out, if anything? What would you add? Just some things to think about.

Metaphor for Learning

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Amazing ideas have surfaced and been fortified here at BLC10. This event has become an intensive summer professional development camp for me.  Many of us will share our percolating thoughts when the dust has settled and we are all comfortably home.  The subtle shifts in my awareness of essential ‘big ideas’ regarding my teaching and collaboration with other educators are profound. I cannot wait to begin planning for my students with my colleagues at home.  For now, since Rahaf Harfoush is about to give her keynote, I want to ask you to weigh in on something I heard in Darren Kuropatwa’s session this morning. He was sharing a story of his own observations of student learning. He posted those observations in real time on Twitter and then found his followers writing to ask for more.  They wanted more reflections, more explanation, and a continued discussion of what had gone on in that classroom.  This pushback caused him to have to write, which then enriched his personal learning as a teacher.  You see, “Separating teaching from learning is like separating a breeze from the wind.”

A beautiful metaphor gently reminding us to stretch every day as learners.

May refreshing and stimulating winds consistently guide your learning!

10 Tips for Managing Information Overload

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Yesterday at BLC I presented on how to manage information overload. Together we looked at the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for this all too prevalent problem. Here is a list of 10 things you can do to keep your Online life under control.
1. Have compassion for yourself – We are all works in progress, don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t know everything. No one can know everything. It is OK Not to know.

2. Measure – There are many tools that you can use to measure your use computer use. They run in the background and will give you data on the sites you visit, the applications you use and how much time you spend on each tool.

3. Set goals – Before you open up a browser consider what you are hoping to accomplish.

4. Triage – Filter on the way in, not on the way out. Look through your email and create filters so that not everything comes in to your inbox. For example, if you are CCd on an email you probably don’t have to look at it immediately. Filter those messages into a separate file to look at later. Also check out Howard Rheingold’s resources on mindful infotention.

5. Ask a Librarian – Don’t overlook the human resources in your own building.

6. Don’t check email until lunch – If you are the fastest responder to a problem, you will get all the problems. If you wait to respond, they may figure out their own answers.

7. Be effective, not just efficient – Being efficient is doing things right, being effective is doing the right things. Make sure you are doing the right things right.

8. Use a productivity tool – Applications like Evernote and Remember the Milk can help you to keep track of all your tasks and information. You can learn about other productivity tools here.

9. Mark as read – Don’t be afraid to go through your reader and mark everything as read. Start fresh. If it is important it will come back up to the top.

10. Take time outs – Explore the Pomodoro technique which suggests you use a timer and set it for 25 minutes of work time and then take a 5 minute break. And, during the work time you keep track of your distractions and take a look at when they occur and what they are.
Do you have a good strategy for managing your information overload? Have you tried something on this list that has worked for you? Please leave a comment and share it with us.

image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmarlatt/3150759027/


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