Relaxing down under

Only a couple days left to enjoy my holiday in Australia. I have enjoyed spending time with our friends here in Perth. My favorite part of any vacation is just having the time to think, reflect, and read while visiting a wonderful part of the world. The time away from my computer and ‘connected world’ has been difficult…but needed. I have a problem with being connected…and admitting it is the first step to recovery.

I am just finally finishing up ‘The World is Flat’. I’m a slow reader and for that reason I don’t read very many books. I only get more frustrated when I watch other people read circles around me. Like my wife for example has finished two books while here on vacation (Her first two e-books, which I’m excited to report she loves! As she broke down 2 months ago and bought a T5 as well…a proud moment for me!) while I’ve finished the last 1/3 of Friedman’s book. That being said, I am so glad that I downloaded the book to my T5 and took the time to read it. It is the best book I have read in a long time. Living overseas in both the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) and now in China (Shanghai) made the book even more relevant. I am recommending it to anyone that will listen to me, especially educators as I think there is a lot in the book that we need to think about in terms of education and what it means to be educated in a flatting world.

I also downloaded and read the December issue of Educational Leadership to my T5. I have an ASCD membership so I went online and downloaded all the articles into Word and then transferred them to my Palm. I can’t wait till the journal arrives in a couple of weeks to my home in China. There are a lot of things I want to take out of the journal to share with other educators. If you are not a member of ASCD then ask your principal or library if they have the December 2005 issue. It’s worth a read.

As I’ve been reflecting on the last year I am so amazed at my own learning curve in just the last 5 months since I found the edublogging world, and in the last 4 months of having The Thinking Stick up in running. I just keep thinking of what a teacher said to me recently when talking about technology. “My learning curve is so steep, I feel like I’m going to fall over backwards.” I know the feeling, and am a little scared that I enjoy that feeling of learning something new everyday, and pushing myself to think, reflect, and learn. But I guess being in education…that’s a good thing.

In August, I started looking into PhD programs that I might be interested in and going back and getting my PhD in something to do with Education, Technology, and Curriculum, my three professional loves. Then I stumbled upon David Warlick’s 2cents blog and everything changed. That led to a personal rethinking of education, technology, curriculum, and more reading of blogs. I had an e-mail conversation with David Warlick mostly about setting up the use of his Blogmeister program for my students. There is one e-mail that David wrote me where we were talking about a technology plan that really struck a cord with me. It was an e-mail that allowed me to say to myself “I’m not crazy…or there are other crazies out there like me.” Which lead to more edublogs and more reading. Needless to say I have done more reading this year then in any year previous including my MS degree and Admin certification. I find the conversations in the edublog world so simulating and cutting edge that a PhD program, I feel, just wouldn’t compete. I’ve looked into a couple and they all seem dated at this point, especially when talking about information technologies, and the new read/write web. I could be wrong, but I just haven’t found ‘my program’. Until I do, I’ll just keep learning.

That’s all from Australia…got to get back to the cricket match. I’m excited to get back to Shanghai and update The Thinking Stick to WordPress 2.0, especially now that I’m getting spam comments on a daily basis.

Cheers!

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