Monday, October 18, 2010

A Marathon of a Different Kind

Today, my husband and I followed our daughter, Carrie, around the city of Columbus, watching her and rooting for her as she ran a 26.2 mile marathon. For months before this event, I know she's been in training -- following a course of actions that would allow her to accomplish her goal of crossing the finish line.

Now that I've had a few hours to celebrate her amazing feat, it made me start doing some reflection of my own. I made the connection that this year I'm learning with a team of colleagues in my own building, as well as colleagues across the country as we take part in the PLP (Powerful Learning Practices) activities. Because there's a plan for how we spend time learning this year, I'm engaging in a mental marathon training of my own.

Just like Carrie, there have been suggested activities that will help me achieve my own learning goals by the end of this school year. Like Carrie, I can choose to follow these suggestions or I can ignore them. I think I'll be following her example and actually stick to the game plan.

This month, our PLP group has been asked to utilize the web 2.0 tools that are accessible to us in a way that allows us to continue to connect, create, contribute, and collaborate with others.

Training item #1 - Since this blog is a perfect example of the ability to create, contribute, and connect with others, my first goal will be to a more active participant. I have been very "hot" and "cold" with my participation in the last few months. It's time for me to step up to the plate (I bet my blog partner, Bill, is happy about this goal!). :)

Training item #2 - I recently wrote about my RSS feed, and from that came a perfect example of how collaboration can happen via a blog. As I shared how far behind I am on the blogs I follow, Scott left a comment about how he is suggesting to others that they make their RSS feed their home page. Such a simple idea, but how powerful. Now, I immediately see my RSS feed when I click on Firefox, and I have been much better about reading (and even commenting) on others' blogs. So, by making my own thinking public, I learned from someone else -- a wonderful tribute to Web 2.0 tools!

Training item #3 - I need to figure out how to check in on my delicious account more frequently. I've bookmarked so many great articles; I now need to find out how to go back and spend some time reading those pieces. And to add to that, our small cohort group discovered how to "friend" each other's delicious accounts, so I just recently increased my ability to access smart thinking exponentially. Now, I just need to make the time to explore all these great sites.

Just three goals, but as I become more proficient at utilizing these web 2.o tools, I think it will help me get closer to the finish line for my own mental marathon with PLP this year.

(Thanks to Carrie for the inspiration for this post!)


  1. Thanks for these ideas. I always learn so much from my Ohio friends (someday I will come there and meet all of you in person). I am going to try setting up my home page like this.

  2. You are right. All of this tech work is a marathon. Computers are supposed to make our lives easier? Really? We just have to keep pushing on - get to the next mile.

  3. Carol - We would love to have you visit us here in Ohio any time!! That home page idea has made a huge difference in how quickly I can access updates -- it's truly one less click.

    Scott - Thanks for your original inspired idea, and now for the inspiration to take this one mile at a time. :)

  4. Karen, wish I had known you were chasing someone around the marathon. My husband and I (and our son-in-law)were following our daughter around for the half-marathon. A great day for the runners and a great autumn day for those of us cheering them on.