Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Slow Blog -- comes to life

It's been months since I posted, so I guess I need to come up with an excuse. The frenetic summer of an expat teacher/parent ? (too much time traveling and socializing)... Returning to Singapore and immediately having to find a new place to live in a hot property market ? (downsizing is painful) ... Instead I'll suggest the tactic of slow blogging (cf: slow food and slow schools).

I certainly digest material slowly. There's that fear of being forever a lurker. Still learning, but not quick to interact. I'm reminded of an article (that I can't provide a link to at the moment) I had to read once about Aborigine children in Australia and how they prefer long periods of observing in the classroom before engaging. For them public mistakes are worse than delay or inactivity. Though the teacher might perceive them as dreaming or not on task, they instead act upon a greater requirement to survey what is going on. Slow but solid absorption.

However, the time to start writing is now. I've signed up to do a workshop at TeachIT with my good friend (and fellow teacher-librarian) Barb Philip. Just a 75 minute workshop -- but for our general international school peers (argh!) here in Singapore on a Saturday in November.
Social Software -- in school and life

See how two teacher-librarians have experimented with free (and almost free) internet software to help them collect, organize, and share information online -- and play with these Web 2.0 tools yourself. Guaranteed to get you thinking how you might use them in your classroom as well as for professional networking and personal projects. The sampler will include wikis, social bookmarking, online catalogs, blogs, RSS readers, photo and document sharing, and customized search engines.
It got a bit truncated in the official line-up, but that was our original description.

It's a deja-vu experience for me, as that's what I did 18 months ago with Beth Gourley. We signed up to do a workshop for fellow teacher-librarians at EARCOS 2006. You never learn anything until you volunteer to present it. Beth and I threw our combined learning into a wiki, which is still out there -- LibraryTails -- and surprisingly not that out-of-date. Barb and I agree we definitely need to pool our content online beforehand. This workshop will be better than the last one in that it's hands-on. So we just need a launchpad so people can start playing. Barb's going to set up a MySpace for us, while I'm going to use this blog to focus on some of our experiences and ideas.

Poem I read recently -- by Eve Merriam:

A Lazy Thought

There go the grown ups
To the office,
To the store.
Subway rush,
Traffic crush;
Hurry, scurry,
Worry, flurry.

No wonder
Grown ups
Don't grow up
Any more.
It takes a lot
Of slow
To grow.

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