Monthly Archives: January 2012

Overload. Avoidance. Balance.

or…
Where I’ve Been and What I’ve Been Up To
Combating Human Deficit Disorder
There’s Only So Much You Can Multitask
I Have a New Position…I’m Really Busy
I’ve been avoiding this blog post because I was overloaded with tech and now I’m trying to find balance.

I did it to myself. I thought blogging every day for 90 days was going to be an amazing learning experience…and it was. The problem is that it became a burden. During my Summer of Learning: 90 Days of Metacognition & PD , I did what I do best…learn something, and then share it.  So here’s the problem…it was not a natural process.  I found myself scouring twitter and Google Reader every morning to “find” something… anything to learn.  It was fun at first, but then I found myself constantly thinking about what I could learn each day and where I could find it.  I was spending more time looking for things to learn than actually learning.

So…why am I here now and where have I been? I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and it wasn’t until this morning that my friend Kami sent me a video that put it all into perspective for me.  Take a moment to view it here:

I really had a light bulb moment…I had experienced technology overload, which made me avoid most social media since September.  My Google Reader had the evil “1000+ unread items” for months on end.  I occasionally posted a “happy birthday” to a friend on facebook.  I popped into twitter for about an hour a week…a virtual space where I would spend at least an hour a day interacting on.  Google+ was a black hole to me.  My blog…what blog?  Social Media had become more of a burden than a place where I was free to learn and collaborate, so I avoided it all.  I had a new position as Curriculum Specialist, was designing new initiatives and professional development at my school, was reading a ton of young adult literature instead of the latest edu-books, and was spending time with my family.  I have been truly engaged in my own world while just about shutting out the virtual world.

I’ve also been really interested in Richard Louv’s message regarding Nature Deficit Disorder.  Now, I am no nature girl…I think I had zero points on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence test in that area.  But I get it.  I see what getting outside does for my children…and my students.  My school campus requires us to be outside to get from place to place all day long.  So, for me it isn’t about picking up rocks and digging around dirt…it is about stepping away from the tech and resolving Human Deficit Disorder.  It is about finding connections in the real world, but balancing connections in the virtual world.

So where does that leave me?  Right now, I’m working on balance.  I’m reintroducing the virtual and social media world to myself by choosing the connections that I have found encourage my own learning and sharing.  I strongly believe in supporting new teachers, so I make the commitment each week to join Lisa Dabbs and Joan Young on #ntchat on twitter.  This purposeful and supportive chat has helped me narrow down my time on twitter while making meaningful connections.  I am in the process of scaling down my subscriptions on Google Reader in order to stay up to date quickly each morning.  As for Facebook and Google+, I’ve decided they really aren’t necessary in my life right now.  I’m supporting teachers in my school with purposeful technology in the classroom.  I’m making great use of my Kitchen Aid mixer with my daughter.  I’m playing ping pong with my middle son, and learning how to make oragami and bucky ball shapes with my youngest son.  I’m reading great YA Lit and sharing my recommendations with my 8th grade students.  I have given myself permission to not have to do everything, be everywhere, or try to keep up.  I’m going to use my blog for what it was intended for…as a reflection of my teaching and learning experiences in middle school.  It will not be a burden and I will not try to give myself time guidelines for posting.  I will post when I can reflect on a teaching and learning experience that has meaning and relevance…you know…something worth sharing.  It will be a natural extension of me and what I love to do…transparent, honest, and reflective.