Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reading some of the posts written by Alec Couros' new group of students has taken me back a few years to when I was just dipping my very tentative toes into the ocean of new technologies. I read about how they are feeling overwhelmed and somewhat skeptical and this made me think of one way to approach the steep learning curve that technology represents for most:

The Green approach to learning about technology.

Reduce the number of applications you are trying to learn. Start small and build.
Pick one of two things to learn well. See how they fit into your world. I would recommend using for social bookmarking. Learn how to tag effectively, seek out other educators and add them to your delicious network, learn how to use delicious as a search tool. This will help you keep your learning organized as you collect pages of ideas, tutorials, information and sources of inspiration.

Reuse the ideas of others by adapting them to your own purposes.
Using Twitter and reading blog posts by other educators is like having your own gold mine. As you learn a new technology, look to see what others have done. Chances are someone has:

-reflected on their learning process.
-come up with ways to use it in the classroom
-written a tutorial or screencast about it
-posted student examples using it
-collected their own set of bookmarks for all of the above

Recycle your ideas by sharing with others through Twitter and your blog.
Everyone sees things in a slightly different light and beginners too have something to offer. Share out your ideas, experiences, reflections or questions. You never know when something you say will spark an idea in someone else's mind or provide a key idea for them to move forward with.

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