CP2Tech01 Has Concluded

Our CP2Tech01 workshop has ended. It was one of the fastest five week experiences I can recall. I am certainly a bit sad to have such an active few weeks of posting and reading and searching come to an end somewhat abruptly (and now I am forced to further it all on my own), so thought I would reflect a little on the experience.

  • I struggled to keep up. Reading, posting, new tools, conference calls, and lots of wonderful new people, many of whom I only started to know on a very high and almost surface level. With all that said, I wish there would have been some way that more of a sense of community and (dare I say?) friendship begin to develop? Yes, it takes time, but with so many interesting and generous and wonderful people out there in the area of communities of practice, I think I will need to make more of an effort to remain in touch with some of these fine people. This has always been a struggle for me (out of sight, out of mind), but here is a new opportunity to work toward improvement.
  • I learned that I am not alone in not understanding or processing things at times. When I feel overwhelmed, perhaps (as I learned) others feel the same way but just do not say it as loudly. While this is not misery loves company, it is nice to hear that I am not as alone as being overwhelmed makes me feel at times.
  • I also learned that I do not have to master every new Web 2.0 tool out there. We looked at lots of programs and technologies out there, and while some people gravitated to some and others to others, I do not need to know everything about all of them to use one or two that I did not use before. Look at the buffet, and choose what works best (rather than stuffing on everything!).
  • Finally, I learned how generous people (colleagues) can be when we are sharing toward a common purpose. The amount of time John Smith and Bronwyn Stuckey and Nancy White and Sus Nyrop and Caren Levine and LaDonna Coy and Shirley Williams and Nick Noakes and Sylvia Currie and Steve Gance and Barbara Dieu and numerous others helped me to understand my own learning, communities of practice, technology stewardship, and working collaboratively on such important areas between scholarship and practice. I appreciate all of them making me feel welcome and part of the conversation.

Always looking for the practical application, I am wondering where all our work will lead us all?

WordPress Upgrade and into a Vortex

I upgraded my blog to the most current version of WordPress at the beginning of this week, primarily because I was inspired to approach technology with a new emphasis after being inspired by Nancy White’s facilitation skills in the Connected Future (CP2tech01) workshop that is now in its fourth week.

While the upgrade went well, what I did not expect was to get slammed at work and with teaching and preparing for a conference and academic stuff, etc., so that I would need to take a few days off from following my colleagues’ posts, Tweets, and discussions.

As I will not have Internet access over the long weekend, I will instead catch up with everything tonight. Here comes my responses and thoughts!

CP2tech01 Week 3 Reflection – Tools Integration

At the end of each week in our Connected Futures workshop, we are invited to write a post or otherwise communicate some reflection as to how the exercise went. I have been leaving most of my comments within the workshop area (a customized WebCrossing space), so I decided to have this week’s posting on my own blog. I do not have any evidence that anybody in the workshop is reading or otherwise reviewing my blog, nor am I convinced that there is an ongoing web search on using our tag of CP2tech01. That is ok, as the purpose of this post (for me) is to organize and express my thoughts.

I thought this week’s section on using various technologies was probably one of the most overwhelming ones of the workshop. It was almost as if there were a lot of people interested in a lot of tools, but somehow it was not held together as well as it could be.  Some looked at Skype, others at Netvibes (myself included), del.icio.us, and Facebook. The objective seemed to be to learn from one another’s best practices, and I was so busy trying to learn new things that I am not sure what to do with them all. I felt people started off in different areas with tools they like, though there really was not enough time in a week to learn anything brand new if there were no previous use of them. I was lost as to how to sign up for working with others on these tools, and while I had a useful Netvibes session, I think the perceived goals of this week were impossible in only one week.

Were we supposed to become our own community? Consider them for our communities? Help one another? I think perhaps a combination of all of them, and every time I thought I got it and went back to the internal wiki, I saw additional documents and instructions. I started to feel that the thinking of how this was all held together was developing in process, and while that can be very good, there was so much to try to learn in such a short point, that I am not sure where we are right now.

While this feeling of confusion has happened before during the workshop (learning can be a messy business!), I am still confident that the workshop leaders have all this together. Of course, with different leaders coming and going with greater or lesser involvement, I am not too sure about this right now. Let’s see what week four brings . . .

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TweetWheel – Visual Twitter Relationships

Will the useful and interactive Twitter applications never stop? Thanks to the wonderful Twitterholics website, I just discovered TweetWheel.

tweetwheelThis online application analyzes all of the followers we have and then identifies which of them in turn follow one another. In other words, this visually shows relationships between those people I follow. Bring the cursor over each name, and colored lines appear that link them to one another based on their relationships. While some relationships I know, a number of them were a surprise.  As followers and relationships are dynamic while the TweetWheel takes a snapshot in time, you may want to generate this repeatedly. One word of caution, depending on the number of people you follow, this can take some time. As I have recently added a number of new people I follow (from the Connected Futures CP2tech01 workshop), this program helps me understand those people’s relationships a little better.

Click my TweetWheel image to see it full-size.

What community-building or other uses can you imagine for this?

Multitasking = Working to Capacity

A colleague accused me (or rather busted me, to use her words!) of mulitasking during one of our Connected Futures CP2tech01 field trips, to which I responded that multitasking is more about “working to capacity.” I like framing mulitasking in that way better – mulititasking is working to capacity!

Of course, work and capacity are both words that can be defined in many different ways. Ask any mother, student, knowledge worker, or community of practice technology steward!