Monday, August 20, 2007


I've discovered that I like a tool called Twitter. When I first read about it a few months ago, it sounded like a really useless Internet tool, but, like many things, until you try it out, you don't know.

Twitter is a social networking tool that can be used many ways. I have only used it on my computer to keep in touch with a teacher friend to see what she's been up to. I'd really like to get some of my family members to participate. We all live spread out around the country and it's hard to really keep in touch. This tool lets you catch little snippets of friends' lives and makes you feel closer to them.

Personally I love asynchronous tools because they don't intrude on everyone's busy schedules. People just check in when it's convenient.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


The new semester is quickly approaching and I'm trying to finish revising the syllabi for my fall 07 courses. I do so much reading and experimenting with new tools that I learn about through online networking that it is hard to decide what to include and what to leave out.

I always assume that the students in my classes will learn about principles of teaching and learning in other courses. So what I try to do in my courses is offer them the opportunity to become familiar with free-online tools that they can utilize to apply these principles and to make their professional lives more fruitful.

I am always hopeful that the students will end up learning how useful it is in today's digital world to become part of a digital community of practice. Such a network can be a great source of inspiration and a good place to offer and receive feedback on ideas. My present network can be seen in this Gliffy visualization.

This summer has been soooo busy that I haven't had as much time as usual to work on revisions, but next week I plan to finish up. This summer has included learning how to take care of a 14-year-old cocker spaniel who suffers from separation anxiety; marketing/selling my condo; putting almost everything I own in storage; moving in with my son and daughter-in-law, putting their town house on the market and planning and building a new home together. Whew!