Style and Substance

Well, I finally finished tagging all 355 of my bookmarks in Delicious! This was one of those mind-numbing organizational tasks that just has to be done, like sorting your email into folders so you can find that important message from your principal a month from now. But something good actually came of reviewing all the sites I’ve bookmarked up until this point: I reacquainted myself with all the wonderful content that is available on the net. I took a second look at some sites I want to share with my teachers. I dusted off those plans to start a book discussion group with some of my students. And I reminded myself that the content has to drive the technology, not the other way around.

It’s easy to be wowed by all the flashy 2.0 applications that are out there.  It’s easy to get so caught up in exploring all the “cool tools” that I neglect to spend time implementing what I’m learning in my media center program.  And what’s worse, it’s easy to start a project like a blog or a wiki or a podcast and then fail to maintain it.

For example, ever since I learned about Google Book Search in August, I have been using it to keep a list of all the books from the Alice Drive Elementary Library collection that I’ve read since I started teaching at the school last year. It’s linked from my media center webpage so that my students can see what I’m reading and hopefully find something they’d like to check out. I realized today that I haven’t posted any new titles in over a week!  This is partly because lately I’ve spent more time with the computer than with a book, and partly because I just haven’t taken the time to add the books I did read.  Will the kids notice I haven’t added anything new this week?  Probably not. But it’s a slippery slope when you start to let those projects slide.

So I guess this blog post is really more of a reflection on the need to keep my technology priorities straight, rather than a description of my experience with Delicious.  But that’s okay; it’s just part of sharing The View From Here.

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2 thoughts on “Style and Substance

  1. Yes, it is easy to be wowed by the 2.0 tools, to go crazy for a time and then let them fall by the wayside – I plead guilty! It doesn’t mean I don’t still find them useful, fun, or worthwhile, it just means other things interfere. Mostly because I haven’t made the tools (blogs, twitter, etc.) a habit. I also find it silly to post the minutia of my life on Twitter. I mean, who cares what I ate for breakfast or that I got stuck behind the slowest driver on earth on my drive home today? Another problem I have is just remembering to do things – not that they’re not important, just that the time seems to slip away from me. I can’t believe it’s almost November! It seems like it we just started school, when in the 1st quarter is over already.

    I love your use of Google Book Search to share your reading. I’ve not used Google Book Search, but I’ll go check it out. I do have a Shelfari account, but haven’t done anything with it. Your example gives me an idea. Thanks!

  2. Heather, I haven’t explored Twitter yet, but from what I know of it I agree with you – I just don’t have that much to say! Perhaps unjustly, Twitter always makes me think of teens who have to call each other the minute they arrive home from spending entire day together!

    I resisted blogging for a long time because it seems a bit pointless to post entries without an audience, and to attract an audience you need some really worthwhile content. Since beginning the 23 Things, I have been toying with an idea for a blog and podcast that might actually interest people, but I don’t want to jump into it until I have a clear vision and a strong commitment to maintaining it.

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