Originally, I was going to blog about my thoughts about RSS feeds. I was going to write about how I set up My GoogleReader and how I have started to unsubscribe from my various email newsletters (none of which I seem to be able to keep up with anyway). I was going to talk about how the initial excitement and motivation after signing up for a new email newsletter typically wears off pretty quickly. And about how I am left with an email account full of too many unread emails. I was also going to elaborate on how I usually end up reverting back to accessing webpages the old-fashioned way – through my bookmarks toolbar….
But instead I am going to reflect on my learning experience in this course so far. This week, to be honest, I feel a little bit out of the loop. After frantically working on several other deadlines, I came home last night, sat down it my papasan chair, and browsed to our Learning Portal to catch up on the newest blog posts about RSS feeds. I was surprised to see that the two most popular posts where not on RSS but on student learning, engagement, and motivation in general. I read 2centsblogger’s post who referenced Laura’s Blog. I read Laura’s post right after. My first reaction was something along the line of “Wait… What happened? What did I miss?” I did take this opportunity to reflect on my own learning experience and on what I have been taking out of this course so far.
Grad 602 has introduced me to several interesting technologies, which I have found to be useful for my own learning and for potential integration into the classroom. While some of them are only “nice-to-know-ofs” (e.g., Twitter – sorry!), others are absolutely great (e.g., GoogleReader, Diigo). Getting my hands dirty with each of them allows me to make a sophisticated, informed decision about whether they will be of any use now, later, or ever. Although I appreciate the collaborative nature of the course, I don’t see it as a necessary element to maximize my learning, as others appear to do. Commenting on each other’s blogs, tweeting each other, etc. can definitely be fun and interesting. I like to read and react to comments related to my posts. But I don’t mind if nobody reads/comments on them. For me it is all about the exposure to new forms of technology and about experimenting with them in a safe learning environment. The interactive, collaborative piece to it is secondary (although not unimportant!) to me. Is that selfish? Maybe.
Now, back to my initial blog idea: RSS is such a convenient way of aggregating, customizing, and rerouting information. I feel as enthusiastic about RSS as I do about Diigo (see last week’s post). Definitely a useful, time-saving, and an efficient way of staying up-to-date. My email account will thank me.