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Greetings! I posted this query several days ago, asking people how you all
keep up with today's fast-changing technology. The funniest response I got
was: "please ask for suggestions for what to do about the spinning head that
is created by the overload that i am having with all the tech stuff I want
to "apply" to my life & become overwhelmed with where to begin, & what to do
that won't have to be redone in a few days since it won't work in my school
network! is there a pill or drink?" This person sounds as harried as we all
often feel! I am going to quote a message that summed up much of what I
received from many people, in a wonderful and thorough manner. But first I
will add a few things not mentioned in that missive:

   - Conferences--these are great ways to recharge and get new info.
   - Books! Yes! This can still be quite true. I just finished *What Would
   Google Do? *by Jeff Jarvis
   - Keep a teenager around!
   - Follow online periodicals like *THE Journal*, *eSchool News* and *From
   Now On*.
   - Maintain a Google personal page and use the tech tabs! This simple tip
   came from one of my tweets.
   - Thanks to all who responded, and finally...

I take a bit of pride in the fact that the best response I got was from a
former student, Jamie Camp. She is librarian at Benfer Elementary School in
Klein ISD, Texas, which was coincidentally the first school where I served
as a school librarian. She generously agreed that I could quote her response
in its entirety:

I try to keep up with tech trends in several ways:

          twitter--you have to build a useful network first though. Start
by following some of the well-known tech or library people, like you, Joyce
Valenza, David Warlick, Scott McLeod, Wes Fryer--and by looking at their
communities, you come to great people like Keisa Williams or Melissa
Techmann, Lisa Thumann or Liz Davis. Drop the people that don't tweet, or
that tweet too much about stuff that you don't need to know! And tweet back
to your community too! It's ok to lurk for awhile, but if you continue only
lurking, you're missing a huge resource that could be helping you with your
particular interests/projects!

         RSS-if you don't really understand RSS or don't know how to use an
aggregator to collect blogs, podcasts, searches, videos of interest to you,
this is one of the MOST important tools you should concentrate on! Learn to
use Google Reader and/or iTunes! They are invaluable and pretty easy, with
lots of tutorials available on their site,
youtube, etc.

         podcasts--I've been addicted for years!  Especially helpful in
this area is the EdTechTalk <> community.
EdTechWeekly is a GREAT source of new info each week. All of the shows that
are supported by this community are top-notch. This is really an amazing
group of people.

         Social networks: Learn central <>--this
is a community founded by Steve Hargadon, as is another great ning community
called Classroom2.0 <> . The live
portion of this site has all sorts of videos and elluminate sessions
archived here <> .

         Delicious <> is a bookmarking site, which is
wildly handy in itself, but the really powerful part of it is the SOCIAL
part! Here you can not only store your bookmarks "in the cloud," the tagging
feature allows you to see what other people have found too! You can
subscribe to a certain tag string or to a certain user. This is very

         Blogs- Daily, I read *several* blogs. I intentionally make it part
of my day because there is sooo much to be learned out there. Twitter has
killed off a few blogs, but there are still some amazing people writing,
reflecting and connecting thru blogs. I find new ones all the time, through
reading other people's blogs. I drop blogs when I find that they don't meet
my interests or needs. Choose a few and read them daily for awhile. Decide
how many and which ones meet your needs! Here are my never-miss-them blogs
in my Google Reader:  Joyce Valenza's
David Warlick's 2Cents Worth <> and
ConnectLearning <>, Doug Johnson's Blue
Skunk Blog <>, Dr. Bell's For Whom the
Bell Told <>, Richard Byrne's Free Technology 4
Teachers <> (this one is FANTASTIC for new
links/tools for teachers, and it's quick to read) and Bob Sprankle's Bit by
Bit <>.

Cheers, mabell


"Try Curiosity!"--Dorothy Parker
Dr. Mary Ann Bell
Associate Professor
Sam Houston State University
A Member of the Texas State University System
Department of Library Science

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