j0439359I’ve been contemplating all week – do I continue to blog or not? Part of me says, “Go for it, you know after your Web 2.0 course this past fall that blogging can be such a wonderful learning experience where you meet and connect with people from around the world.” The other part of me says, “Forget it, what do you have to say that will make a difference in preparing students for the 21st century? Besides, where do you think you’ll find the time to blog as you move onto your next graduate course?”

I’m even more leery about becoming a blogger that’s supposed to know something about education and technology when it took me hours to figure out how to use the iPod Shuffle I received as a Christmas present. I think maybe it would be better if I just hover in the background, continue to read others’ blogs, make the occasional comment and leave it at that.

But then I receive an email message stating that someone has left me a comment on one of my blog postings. It’s evident from the blogger’s comments that I have made at least a small impact on his thinking about why it’s important to use multimedia applications in the classroom. In turn, the blogger has left a link for me to check out demonstrating what he and his students are doing with multimedia applications in his classroom and I can’t wait to share this link with other teachers when school resumes next week. If you want to see some great examples of how to use videos, podcasts and vlogs, check out Ken Oakes’ Cayoosh Kidz site.

Next thing I know, I’ve found another great blog to follow (http://ruralschools.wordpress.com/) and Ken, bless his heart, is encouraging me to keep blogging when my course is completed.

How do I say “no more blogging” when I get great links and encouragement like that?

So as you can see I’m back at it. I may not have time to blog too much in the next three months but after that I should have time to continue blogging with more consistency.

First things first, however. I had to think of a new name for my blog since the previous name was chosen solely to represent the Web 2.0 course I was taking at the time. Not an easy task, I discovered. Is everyone more clever that me?

jazz

As you can see, I finally settled on “Web Jammin'” which keeps me grounded in my love for teaching music and lets me expand into the technological world of the 21st century as a teacher-librarian.
I think the word “jammin'” with its improvisational jazz connections captures the essence of what happens between individuals and ideas on the web. Improvisation, by its very nature, is a mixture of old and the new much like blogging is a mixture of what has been said in the past and what is being said now. Musicians listen, absorb, create and share much like bloggers read, think, write and share. A little of the old, mixed with a little of the new is what makes improvisation and blogging so interesting to hear, read and respond to.

When I taught my students the art of improvisation, I often referred it as a conversation between people in which it is equally important to listen to what others have to say before adding your own ideas. This is what I envision for my blog. I will continue to read, listen, watch and reflect about what others are saying today about educational technology issues in schools and libraries and then add my own thoughts and ideas to extend the conversation.

I’m already looking forward to our next “jam” session!

Jo-Anne

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