Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Going Off The Grid

The last blog post I composed was August 20, 2009. That was the day I fell off the grid. I fell far; I fell fast. And soon I was trying to find my personal learning network and wondering where everyone went. The party was over and I was back at work, teaching, grading, designing, engaging and performing several other topical buzzwords used in current edu-speak. I was no longer mentioned in Tweets and my direct messages were simply tumbleweeds drifting by in the wind. My comments and blog readership began to fade and I was no longer engaging in a community that had given me so much and inspired me to transform the way I teach in the 21st century.

Since I have last posted a lot has happened. William Safire passed away. He enjoyed buzzwords and was a columnist I looked forward to reading every Sunday in the Times. I grew half a beard a few times; thinking the exotic look of a beard would inspire me to write again. The Phillies lost the word series and all the while I was an inactive member of the personal learning network (PLN) I tried to promote so strongly in my previous posts.

I created the one comment a day project ning only to fall behind in my duties as chief executive commentator. I wrote the introduction to my book that I am attempting to write, only to stuff my edits in a drawer for that rainy day off that never came. I’ve continued to read blogs and visit TweetDeck occasionally to see what all my Tweeps are up to. It seems like they are having fun; it seems like they are really engaged in stimulating discussions about Web 2.0 in the classroom and redesigning 21st curriculum to meet the needs of the 21st century student.

So what happened? How does one fall off the grid so quickly?

I’m a teacher.

I teach, therefore my time is limited. My time is precious. I teach high school English by day and English composition by night at a local college. In between I browse hundreds of essays and paragraphs for run-ons, fragments and my all time favorite, dangling modifiers.

My free time is spent coming down from the day and relaxing with a cup of tea and some light harmonies. Going to bed at 9 pm seems practical, my DVR is overloaded and my Netflix canceled. I know! This is how I came to fall off the grid.

These are my challenges and this is where I came to fall off the grid.

So now what?

I’m using this blog post as my springboard back on to the grid. I want to tweet again! I want to get excited about 2.0 or maybe 3.0 learning. I want to revive the one comment a day project and make t-shirts! I want to write my book on web 2.0 curriculum and I want to collaborate with my Personal learning network! I want to transform my school into an environment where technology and education skip hand in hand down the hall. I want my students to read on level and I want to rediscover the power of my personal learning community!

This is me coming back to the party, head slightly down, but ready for acceptance back into the great collaborative environment of learners, educators and thinkers that became more than a tiny square icon, but inspiring voices in the world of education and beyond. I want to be there again, I want to collaborate and I want to plug back in to my Personal Learning Network.