Monday, 3 June 2013

Hands on Media Here I Come

In the past week I have created accounts in Evernote, Lino,, Instagram, Youtube, gmail and EduClipper (ok, I made this account a few weeks ago, but I've just started to try to understand and use it). I joined Facebook about a month and a half ago and I'm trying to get a better understanding of ALL of the uses of Pinterest. I've been pinning and clipping and posting and sticky-noting like crazy.

And now I'm feeling kind of overwhelmed.  And possibly less-organized than ever.

Why are there so many social media/social bookmarking/organizational tools out there?  How do I pick the best one?  Should I have accounts with more than one?  Am I missing out because I haven't joined Delicious or Diigo?  Or is there an even better one I don't even know about?  Why is it that with everything I learn I also learn that there's so much more to learn?

I'm trying to prepare a workshop session for our school board's "Hands on Media" day for administrators, which is coming up on our next PD day on Monday, June 10.  Although there were a few topics I was interested in or knowledgeable enough to present, I picked social bookmarking/educational pin boards.  I had a whole release day to play with Pinterest and EduClipper and prepare my presentation.  And maybe include a bit about Lino.  And perhaps address the question "How do I find out what's out there for use in education?  How do I figure out what's best for me and my students?  How do I learn about it?" No sweat! This would be the easiest "presentation" I've ever prepared.  I only have 45 minutes and a significant amount of that should be time for my "students" to "play."  It would take no time to get this organized and I'd probably even have time left over to work on some graduation stuff (because that's coming up next week too.) Ha ha ha! LOL! ROTFL!

This is me working on my presentation, or rather researching.  (I was probably answering email to people back at the school because a lot of people needed information from me that day.  Silly me for checking in the first place.)
Photo by Kim.
I'm not sure if it's because I'm out of practice with preparing lesson plans.  Or if it's because I'm lacking focus  because there's just SO MUCH going on at school and at home at this time of year, but I'm really struggling with this.  My biggest problem is I can't curate all of the information.  No, it's that I can't select a focus.  Well also I can't decide what would be the best platform for my "newbie-techies" (a category to which I belong myself).  Or maybe my biggest problem is that I can't select the best presentation method (did I mention I signed up for Screenr on the weekend?)  IT'S ALL SO EXCITING I JUST DON'T WANT THEM TO MISS OUT ON ANYTHING.  But I know I need to narrow my focus because it just won't all fit AND I want them to come out of the session feeling positive.  I don't want to overwhelm anybody.

I thought that if I sat down and gathered my thoughts via my (much ignored by me) blog it might help me focus.  And I think maybe it has.  Sifting through my various thoughts that are all over the place has brought me some focus.  So thanks for letting me vet my thoughts on this topic.  I think I'm several steps closer to actually being able to do this.  And although it might seem otherwise, if I hadn't had that day to explore more and more and more sites and services I would still be very, very, very far from ready for this.

Erin working hard on her presentation about Career Cruising and how it's going to  allow students to create and share IPPs next year.  (I love her topic!)  Photo my me.

Kim's going to let everyone know about the flipped classroom which she's trying for the first time in her accounting class.  She's starting with a video because, after all, "the medium is the message."  Check out the yummy cinnamon buns in the middle of the table.  Photo by me.

This is Colleen working on her presentation about blogging.  She is also using the medium/message approach as her presentation is being formatted as a blog post.  Colleen was our host for our day as we couldn't tie up a whole computer lab for a whole day.  Plus we had no interruptions this way.  She made the delicious cinnamon buns.
I shared the recipe with her.  Photo by me.
We really did have a great day of planning and preparing. We're really loving all of this learning, risk-taking and collaborating.  When we get together again this Friday afternoon we hope to be able to "present" to each other and give feedback for improvement.  I think they will all be ready.  I think you should wish me luck...


  1. Oh Jenni, I'm so glad to see another post written by you! I love the way you write and I love how excited you are to learn to many new things.
    In high school, I had Mr. Seed as an English teacher (you probably did too). I remember his lessons about writing and trying to impress readers with important-sounding words. He always loved to use the acronym 'K.I.S.S." with us, because he wanted us to be clear rather than trying to be fancy. Would it help to use 'K.I.S.S.' as a kind of mantra while preparing for your presentation?
    Look at it this way: you are new to this stuff, yes, but your audience might not have even heard about the sites you're presenting about. Keep it simple -- it's best for digestion. :)
    You're going to do such a fantastic job, I just know it. You're extremely dedicated, and this presentation is constantly on your mind, so I know you'll be just fabulous. I'm really looking forward to this Friday when we get to present to each other!

  2. It is so true that there is just so much out there to learn that it can be very overwhelming. Remember that your audience likely feels the same way. Also remember that you are exploring together. This is not so much a presentation as it is a collection of resources and an opportunity to play together.

    Your students feel like this too, I am sure. It helps us to understand our students better when we put ourselves into these situations. Find what works for you and share that. Get really comfy with one thing and then let your schema grow with your learning. There are lots of great educators sharing on Pinterest. If you find this useful, start there and just share that. Your audience will contribute as well. Try new things together. Wonder together. It is so rare to have hands on time to play together like this and everyone will be in different places. Some will be completely new and some will share what they already know. The most important thing is to be open and connect and learn together what tools can be used to enhance pedagogy.

    Collect some resources for people to go back to and then just go in and play together! We all deserve a day to play right now!

    Thanks again for sharing.