Sunday, April 08, 2007

Spring cleaning

Looks like I can't avoid it. I need to do some spring cleaning...

This week is April vacation. There are no papers to grade - they come in the Friday we get back. I need to plan some of the upcoming lessons, but don't expect that to take too much time. Three weeks away is the mini-workshop I'm planning for the department. Still plenty of time. More on that later.

Looks like I have a perfect opportunity to get my digital house in order. Several months ago I began my blogging experiment. I call it an experiment because it was undertaken with a specific purpose in mind: to expand my knowledge and learning about web 2.0 teaching and productivity tools. At this point, I consider it a success.

However, in that time, as I've come across dozens of nifty tools, I've also found that the resources connected to my learning are scattered to the winds. Much like a typical high school curriculum, little logic or reason binds these valuable ideas together in any meaningful way.

Let me see, first there's that wiki I set up which has a sizeable collection of resources, links, and information, including a few scattered recollections of what I've taught this year. Some of what's there is merely experimental, like incorporating a live feed into the page. Other stuff is under some broad headings. Despite its current random appearance, I'm thinking this may be the best place for a central clearinghouse, only because it provides the most potential for an organized structure. That being said, I need to rethink it's focus so the organization comes a little simpler.

Next, is my Google notebook with a smattering of interesting tidbits I've picked up along the way. Probably best if I simply go through it and move anything valuable over to the wiki. I have my account to keep track of interesting, worthwile sites I come across. Maybe I should incorporate an RSS feed of my findings right into the wiki? This is probably the easiest fix. And I have to remember, I began experimenting with Google notebook with an eye on requiring it as part of a yet-to-be-thought-up future research project for my students.

Ok, then there's my bloglines account. I love trolling through my blogrolls on a regular basis, but what has happened is I've clipped some of the feeds I've found carried meaningful entries worth referring back to in the future. They are in my clippings file which I haven't completely figured out the best use for. I've also marked some entries as "keep new." Now they sit in my blogroll, available whenever I skim the latest feeds. It looks like, they are needed now. Maybe I'll spend the time coming up with a summary of important ideas, and then categorize them on the wiki with links back to the original posts?

Well, that's a start. It just seems kind of overwhelming. Worthwhile, but overwhelming.

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