Being connected to communities on the web can be exhilarating, exhausting, enlightening and intimidating. I suppose there is some intrinsic value in feeling like a competent professional one minute and a rank beginner the next. Jeff Utecht wrote in his blog, The Thinking Stick about the advantages of risk taking. Encouraging both staff and students to be risk takers is a big part of my job. Encouraging them to try something new and hoping that it sticks is a daily practice.
I've been looking for a video clip to introduce a workshop on web2.0 tools that I'll be presenting to colleagues next week. We Think seems to fit nicely. It's a matter of survival for teacher librarians to establish communities of colleagues outside the walls of their own schools. In my own practice I have seen my personal community evolve from face-to-face meetings, to email, to wikis, blogs and sharing resources on del.icio.us.
I need to tell them that it's a friendly world out there. That they'll be amazed with the connections they can make. That there's a tidal wave coming and if they don't dive in they'll be swept away. Hopefully I'll hook them with enthusiasm and not scare them off.
It's not a bad thing that we feel like students again. Empathy builds bridges.
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