Saturday, 16 January 2010

Reaching inside out

Another busy day, but in a different way. It started with a live chat about Instructional Design. There weren't as many rooms as in TappedIn, but again I got lost. The chat was being streamed on two sites and I was early so I wasn't able to see any familiar names for a while. Then there were some sound issues (the main speakers' speech came out too low) so that added to my difficulty to follow what was going on. Still: I learned the rudiments of two streaming sites, learned about weekly scheduled chats, and got my apetite whetted for the topic of Instructional Design.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time sorting out my emails into their appropriate boxes; today I began to do that and, as it happens, I got an update on a site I like and clicked on it. That's how I discovered Tumblr (the streaming sites were ustream and edtechtalk). I saw that it was a blogging space and thought-well, nothing really special there, right? It's mostly a matter of taste and technological sophistication. So I went on to see the blog for Storybird on Tumblr. I love their illustrations, and I've tried to write a story in their site (actually wrote a terrible one but enjoyed reading other people's). I saw a "follow" button -by then I'd already registered in the site so I was able to follow. The process in order to get there was long: I kept being prompted to write my first post, to set up my profile, choose a title, a theme and whatnot. I don't know why I went along. But after having set up all that, I decided to do some browsing and see where I'd opened yet another account. I liked it. It's relatively low-key, but you can use it to share all kinds of things. Many people upload their photos and art; you can simply add quotes, or text and video and I think it's the only site that allows you to add audio on its own. So I have another blog, called Musings .There's not much there yet, but from the theme you'll see it belongs to a different side of myself. Just like Journey Journal here on Blogger.

And that's what I've noticed about the means I use to communicate with my PLN: I use Twitter, which I enjoy, but it's very different from the kind of feeling and interaction I get in Plurk. I like belonging to both, and it was actually a person I follow on Twitter that was kind enough to introduce me to her group of plurkers -just like a teacher I'd met through the Ning network was very kind to guide me step by step into the world of Twitter, both technically and socially.

In microblogging, I've also joined two Twibes groups. That was new. Another thing I tried yesterday was Diigo. At first I didn't know why (I mean, it's all part of the course so I give things a try) but as I was filling in my profile with the reasons (and this goes to any of my students that happen to read this: free writing helps) I realised I wanted to use Diigo; I wanted to share with other people the websites I like. I wanted to be able to interact with like-minded people like that. And discover new sites through them.

So that was new as well. But familiar, because I always end up enriching my PLN, which in turn makes me happier in lots of ways.

The penny dropped when I read earlier today a comment from one of my fellow teachers on the Multiliteracies group. She'd managed to share her links through Google Reader, inspired by the Evomlit Bundle of blogs the course made (of which this blog is a part). I've been using Google Reader for a while now and just a few days ago Istarted clicking the share option in posts I really liked. I tweeted some of them but it became a bit of a hassle. I kept wondering where those shared links were going. So I visited this teacher's shared links page. And I realised that my links had probably ended up on a similar page. I was already more than half-way over what I wanted to do! So I set up my profile and read some guidelines and now you can see my shared links on Google Reader .So where does the penny come in? When I started mumbling about Diigo and what a waste of time that had been given that I already had a tool that did the job and I was familiar with. Well, not so much...

I won't get now into the things you can do with one that you can't do with the other; suffice it to say that, just like my various blogs, they all have something special. Just like Twibes are not the same as Twitter lists.

Just like I don't always behave and feel the same way. There is a core and I think it's quite safe to call it wanting to connect.

That's what I like about being here; not having read yet any of the assigned texts I'd like to put forward a working definition of multiliteracies, and I think this post begins to explain it -what multiliteracies mean to me.


Hanaa Khamis said...

Beatriz.. Wow! I love the way u verbalized your learning process like a bee hopping from one flower to another. I should try some of these tools. Hanaa

Beatriz said...

Thanks for the compliment!! I like your metaphor too.

I think I felt so overwhelmed that I needed to read what was inside mebefore I could start adding new things! But, as usual, one thing leads to another...

Tumblr seems to have a lot of potential -especially with younger people. I like it. Well, I like all the resources :)