Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Week of "Firsts" for me! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

It's Sunday, a great day to reflect on the week and think about how I am spending my time while not teaching. I do tutor part-time during the summer, but my schedule allows quite a bit of time to pursue learning and growth opportunities.
I'd like to share with you the opportunities that have presented themselves recently and how I have actually not just "thought about them" but jumped in, feet first, enjoying these exciting new endeavors!
  • On my "Finding Ways for all Kids to Flourish" blog, I invited others to jump in and give me advice via Voicethread and blog comments about how to set up my new classroom at my new school in the fall. The results were pretty amazing. I am so grateful and encouraged by the way we support each other in my PLN, Professional Learning Network. It was a first in asking for help in such a public forum as well as a first posting a Voicethread!
  • I was invited by the amazing Shelly Terrell to present at a virtual conference and actually agreed to do it at the end of July. Since I was a bit panicked about the whole experience, I decided to play with photobooth and photograph and video myself. I even got up the nerve to blog about my photo phobia and shared my video on this post.
  • I decided to play around with Voki and made a voice introduction for this blog and my other blog. Check it out up on the right upper side of this page.
  • I was inspired by George Couros to try out Prezi and made this fun presentation: If you Give a Teacher Twitter . Of course, because it was my first, I am sure I made some beginner errors but I am excited to find a fun creative tool to use with my students.
  • On Tuesday, during the noon EST Twitter edchat, I was busily jumping in tweeting with others when I got a message asking for help moderating. "Me?" I thought nervously, sending Shelly a frantic,"What do I do?" direct message. She replied and off I went, co-moderating with Lisa Dabbs, another great educator I admire so much.
  • On Wednesday, I awoke to a message from Shelly, asking me to write up the edchat summary from Tuesday's chat that I co-moderated.  I was beside myself with anxiety, but grabbed my coffee, jumped right in with the very helpful and easy template provided, and wrote for almost 3 hours. I am sure the perfectionist in me made it took way longer than it should have, but here it is, published today! 
  •  Finally, throughout the week, I chatted on Twitter with some awesome fellow tweeters, @Saskateach and @TheHomeworkDog about our renewed commitment to exercise goals. A joke I made about doing 10 ab crunches for each tweet led to someone proposing a support group, and daily exercise conversation with the hashtag #temt where we posted our daily goals. Yesterday, I decided to take this great idea a step further and started a collaborative blog, Twitter Exercise Motivation Team  inspired by the awesome collaborative blog by @Peoplegogy and began inviting interested parties to join as contributing authors. As of right now, we have nine authors and eight more who requested invitations and have not yet replied. The blog is just over 24 hours old and has 20 followers and visits and posts from all over the world. Our latest post comes from Anna in Greece!
You can probably tell from my enthusiasm and overuse of exclamation points (sorry) that it has been an awesome week of being energized and inspired by my fellow Tweeters. I hope that you catch some of this positive energy and take on a "first" of your own.
I love this quote: I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”–Picasso
Please share your stories of trying new adventures. I love what we learn from each other.


  1. Your blog about your "week of firsts" is inspiring me to jump into the world of blogging. Plan to get started later in the month. I'm sure I'll have all kinds of questions. This is very new territory for me. Thanks for all your work with the #temt! We are on a roll!

  2. Joan;

    Wonderful Post! Welcome to the world of Educational Blogging or as I like to call it, The Edublogosphere!

  3. You, lovely lady are an inspiration! I am thrilled to have you as part of my PLN to push my thinking in ways that I never thought were possible! A million mercis and keep on doing what you are doing... it's working!

  4. Joan, Love your reflections here. You may be interested in reading the work of Donald Schon on reflection. Schon asserts that there are 2 types of reflection: "reflection-in-action" the minute-to-minute decisions we make, and "reflection-on-action" which is deeper and more thoughtful--why you did what you did, and changes you would make, etc.(That's an over-simplistic explanation, but you get the idea) In my dissertation study, I asked teachers to reflect on their teaching, and I'm learning that many people do not know how to reflect. They can tell you what they did, but harder to get deeper than that.

  5. Thank you so much for the wonderful comments. I am thrilled to connect to so many great minds on Twitter and I will check out the work you suggested, Linda. I am always reflecting, sometimes a curse, sometimes a blessing!

  6. This is a great idea you have here. A space to be reflective, thoughtful, mindful... All too often in this world we go, go, go and forget to take a moment to really see what is around us, often passing us by. This opportunity is precious.
    This week I have been included in your week of first and I am truly honored to be here. The opportunity to connect, reflect and set into action, ideas with others is very powerful. I feel that together we have planted a seed and you have grown it into a beautiful plant full of possibilities. Thank you for allowing me to take this journey with you. I can't wait to see what happens next.

  7. I agree with the others! I was just myself thinking about all the things I had hoped to do over the summer...then I said, "What am I waiting for?" So I started a new blog as well and am working on some new sewing projects too!

    Keep up the good work and inspiration!


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