The reaction was on a scale from neutral to wrinkled-nose dis-belief. Many of my colleagues are seasoned techies and effective users of web 2.0, social media and whatever else one calls all the Internet and communication tools we have at our disposal. I guess I have a deep personal prejudice rooted in the condescension and belittling reactions from BayArea cutting-edge, politically correct snobs, who are also quite efficient in selecting and using the social media tools. I have no qualms about my strengths and skills and really get my briefs bunched up when I get a more-progressive-cutting-edge-than-thou response to my admittedly crude but actually quite amazing quick dives into this world dominated by much younger, much more technologically adept geeks. I'm an old, flatulent 60s liberal, but I really see the possibilities in this new world of communication and networking -- clearly a force in electing the new president.
I'm new to most of it and don't yet have an easy grasp of what tool and software are most useful for what uses, and more importantly, how can I use all of these to increase the network of education advocates. I'm going to list a few:
- I've got Linked In. Within Linked In I've created two groups: Excellent Public Schools for ALL Children & PIRC & PTA. I invited many to join the first early on, but can't get a real conversation going, and the second I created recently as a place for directors of Parent Information Resource Centers to connect with PTA state presidents and other leaders. I've been told that Linked In isn't the best place to have an interactive group, but that's where I started them, so that' where I'll see what happens, at least for the next six months.
- This blog was started about the same time I joined Linked In. I've gotten some responses, and my google analytics tells me that I get visitors every day, from four to a high of 29. I've been told that's not too shabby for a new blog in a what would seem to be a narrow focus and one that doesn't have huge participation from online techies and geeks.
- Then there's TWITTER. I'm @aureliom and at it first felt time wasted. Who cares about the coffee you're drinking at the moment or the traffic jam you're stuck in. But amidst the TMI posts, I found some useful information, got some questions answered, and enjoyed the moment to moment reports from NPR et al. TWITTER has brought some readers to my blog, and we are following each other. I do hope to increase connections with education advocates and activists through TWITTER, but it's been better than I expected.
- To start the Linked In group I was required, I thought, to have an external group already in place so I started a google group, Excellent Education for ALL Children and with a good group. We started a good dialogue and then it plopped. I don't know why, but it did.
- One of my mentors in this huge universe of 2.0 and the Internet, Bryan Person introduced me to Social Voice and I started my Aureliom's Blog. This website seems much more compatible with my social change and educational advocacy goals, but there isn't a large membership and usage, as in Blogspot. But I've gotten some very good contacts and actual conversations going there.
- I've joined Classroom 2.0 and think I'm in the right environment, but the educators in that context seem so technologically advanced that it'll be a while before I can get them to converse rather than patronizingly give me 'basic' advice.
- I'm using JOTT because it's such an amazing tool to convert my oral notes into emails that then are my working notes for articles, task lists and thoughts captured for future use. This tool is especially useful when I'm driving on a trip that is an hour or longer.
- I've organized all my 'favorites' in delicious but I still don't know how to make it available on my laptop because I set it up on my office desktop PC.
- I've been recording Classnotes Podcasts at work and on other sites. Lorna Constantini from Parents as Partners invited me to podcast with the EdTech group -- the comments were very positive. A real time chat room was concurrent with the SKYPE conversation.
- I've also joined UTTERLI, BOXBE, The PERFECT NETWORKER, StumbleUpon & PLAXO. Many more that others registered me onto or that I signed up but forgot. Most of the connections are for people looking to sell something, get a job or hire someone and other entrepreneurial efforts and so I'm challenged in seeing how to use these for my social networking goals.