It seems that no matter what I am trying to do, blogging just can't get it's fair share of time to get done. I feel really bad abut that, especially since I presented at UCET 2011 in Sandy, Utah about different tech tools teachers should be using. In that presentation I talked about blogging and the benefits it can have for educators with regards to reflection and the learning process and how it can allow you to learn and grow from other educators experiences. I truly believe that statement. Even though I haven't been writing on any of my blogs (yes you read that right, I have 3 total blogs) I have definitely been reading the thoughts and reflections of others. I don't know what I would do without my RSS reader and feeds with the ability to follow many talented and inspirational educators. But I don't just follow educators. I actually follow as many, if not more, computer/technology blogs as education themed blogs. I find that the more I read, the happier I feel and the more I am actually learning. And when I say "more" I'm not just referring to the "number" or articles, but actually the amount of different articles, topics, and authors. I think it is an important part of learning, allowing yourself to be immersed with as many different topics as possible. Just as we try to persuade our students to not always read the same genre, we as educators need to be open to reading different topics and ideas.
To go along with the RSS feeds I read, I also listen to a number of podcasts. I am fairly new to the podcast world, but I am already in love with what I have found. I think it is very interesting that I have found so much joy in listening to "experts" discuss the topics of education and technology because I have never enjoyed listening to Talk Radio and have even used the words "hate" and "detest" to describe the genre. I am a music man, not a talk man. Well, maybe I am a little bit of a talk fan. If you haven't tried listening to podcasts, you should! One of the easiest way to find a large group of podcasts is to go through the Apple iTunes Store. Once you have logged in, click on "Podcasts" and then start a search for a topic of interest. Most, if not all podcasts are $FREE to "subscribe" to, and I recommend you subscribe to them if you enjoy what you hear. I typically download one or two episodes just to get a feel for the show and if I enjoy what I hear, then I go back and subscribe to that show. The nice thing about subscribing is that iTunes will automatically check for new episodes and download them for you. You definitely need to check out podcasts, you won't be let down. There are many different topics to select from and I am sure you will be able to find something of interest. And remember, don't just limit yourself to one "genre" of podcast, allow yourself to look around and try out different themes.
I hope this is the beginning of a new leaf for me. I hope to find the time to do more writing and reflecting on my teaching as well as the different technologies being used in my classroom as well as in other teachers' classrooms.