As a teacher, and someone who refuses to only wear one hat, I find it very difficult to find the time to reflect. I know how important reflection is, but I tend to be impulsive so I usually jump into the next item on my to-do list before I force myself to reflect upon what I’ve just accomplished. For this reason, I am thankful the facilitators of #clmooc Week 1 requested we stop and reflect upon our “makes” this week. (Even though I am frantically trying to make final preparations to facilitate a four-day workshop, which involves me being seven hours away from my family for the next five days.)
My “makes” this week included a post on my blog, an avator using Bitstrips and my first BitStrip. I also finally found time to play a little with Google+, added a few more sites and apps to continue to explore (thanks Chris Miller http://mrmillernyr.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/clmooc-reflection-infographics/), played with some that I didn’t like, and generally got sucked into the digital world. I am trying to be diligent about not just clicking away my time, but truly being selective in what, how, and why I explore. Too often I find myself jumping from one new digital adventure to another and then feeling overwhelmed trying to figure out how to fit it all in to my own life, let alone the limited time I have with my students during the school year.
I’ve seen newer teachers struggle with balancing their online identity and their professional role as an educator. This needed balance is in the forefront of my mind whenever I am making something, especially digitally. Over time I’ve learned making a product digitally (like the first class webpage I made) can happen quicker than I expect.. This happened a few times this week, such as with Vizify, and it made me feel uncomfortable. When I make non-digital products, such as my favorite muffins or a cross-stitched bread cloth, there is more time before the “finished” button is clicked. I have time to reflect upon the product I’m making before others can see it, and I can actually trash it or start over without anyone ever knowing. Maybe this is why I still write my blog posts in a Word document saved on my computer instead of directly in my blog even though I don’t have to push the “publish” button right away. I think composing in Word takes the pressure off me to hurry up and be done. If I struggle with finding the time to reflect and remembering how quickly a digital product is available for viewing, how do I teach my students and newer colleagues the power of waiting and reflecting?