Saturday, March 08, 2008

Addicted to Learning

Recently my RSS reader has been feeling rather lonely. Two recent conferences, EduCon and PETE&C were rich opportunities for connecting and professional development plus my weekly listening to WOW2.0 and EdTechTalk in addition to DEN, ISTE, and PDE webinars. Then there is Skype and Twitter, my daily dose of connecting, learning and professional development. Collectively these experiences have left my RSS reader unread and overtaken any sense of balance in my life.

So how out of control is it? Well, my web browser was functioning with 65 tabs open- when Will Richardson tweeted- he has 42 open. I hovered over my keyboard, should I admit my shame, acknowledge that I was well beyond any reasonable or rational approach and use of Twitter. I thought twice. It was a definite, NO! But a reckoning of my addiction was launched.

When my browser slows to molasses pace, I am forced to review, tag, note in scribefire, or post and annotate on my wiki and finally shut down my Mac for a needed rest. (I'm pretty sure there is a relationship to my Mac hard drive dying in four months! ) And then the madness begins again.

I love what I learn on Twitter. The help I receive. The opportunities for collaboration I discover. The personal connection I make with my Twitterpals. Links that are posted are quickly reviewed and then lined up in a queue waiting for a moment to delve further. In a day that is filled with teaching classes, collaborating with teachers, managing projects, and then home with family, sports practice, dinner to make, the list goes on... there is just enough time to catch up and connect on Twitter.

I must admit, I am addicted to connecting and learning.

So if my web browser had 65 tabs open, I will only let you wager how may posts sat waiting for me in my RSS reader. Somehow I need to find a balance. As I clicked on the first posts in my reader, I was struck by the thinking that was triggered. A deeper, calmer, more connected thinking. Twitter offers fast-paced, almost frenzied thinking. I appreciate both, but recognize that my brain needs time to synthesize, to make connections. I am a global thinker, needing to see the bigger picture and from there organize the pieces into place and put them into perspective. What I am realizing is that Twitter actually works the opposite of my thinking, offering many unconnected parts which need to find a place within the fabric of my understanding and learning. I need to recognize this and somehow find a way to balance the many components of my personal learning network. To do any less makes me less effective. Not sure how I am going to accomplish that just yet. Any suggestions?

And how about you? Are you addicted to learning?

Photo from flickr dev nul photo stream