Sigh. I pursue my next pedagogical iteration with gusto, every day.

Modern Learning? I’m in! Connected with a Twitter PLN? Fershur. Teacher Blog? TEDEd…bring it on! EdTech presentation? Build a digital PLN? Here you go! U betcha! There is something thrilling in seeking out new edtech convos, strategies, and mentors. Finding a new way to play at work has always been a motivator for me. And over the last ten years, I have noticed the shift in education where it finally seems like this approach has become acceptable. The ‘play’ is couched in ‘Co’ pronouns like co-plan and co-learn, but the essence to explore collectively is a breath of fresh air.

The thought of pursuing learning solely from my own stomping grounds kinda brings me down.

Historically, I frequently travel beyond my region, landing south of the border, schooling myself on the abundance of connected educators I find there. Google is repped by Alice Keeler,  Global Citizenship, you gotta visit Paul Solarz. You want to escape textbook drudgery, check out Matt Miller. The open offer from each of their classrooms and contexts has changed me, permanently. Carol Salva in her conversation with Rolland Chidiac on Rolland Chidiac Connects mentioned that she felt bad for people who have never experienced a digital PLN, specifically on Twitter. She went on to declare that she could never go back to her former, non-connected self. And I thought, me too!

…but am I creating at the same rate that I consume?

Then I got to thinking about the weight of my edu-collectables. The truth with all digital media is that the ease of storage belies a metric of time to acquire and energy to organize. And when I engage in some self-reflective and minimalistic analysis I inevitably come to the conclusion that I am overconsuming at the digi-buffet. And, ironically, looking forward to the next thing might be keeping me from developing what is in front of me.

Does more data help, ACTUALLY?

I try to pay attention to everything that my job throws at me. And when I go to autopilot on my drive for knowledge I tend to assume that all of it is crucial. I am the guy who sits in the front row, takes notes, backchannels, side channels, reviews, posts/reposts, asks questions, and remembers. This, I have come to accept, is curation and not a creation at all.  In the end, with my time spent, I often have not tested the information, created a thing, or returned to the convo with a new thought. But I have done a heck of a lot of thinking about thinking. I guess my gut check is now telling me to keep my aware of both my reach and grasp.

If I narrow my bandwidth, focus my attention, and reduce the number of digi-iniatives … am I still doing my job?

When learning does not result in doing, something is out of balance. And when the synergy between learning and doing starts to break down, learning communities close doors to creativity.  For now, I am making sure that in each moment where I am pursuing a new frontier, I ask myself five questions:

  1. Is there something else that needs my attention?
  2. Is this making me happy?
  3. Is this improving my communication?
  4. Am I creating deeper connectivity?
  5. Am I saving time?

Right now..?

  • Is all of your learning resulting in some type of doing? Are you also iterating and testing, often?
  • When engaged in creating are you doing so in a community? Are the participants dissonant enough to provide essential feedback?
  • Does the feedback create reflective loops and opportunities for scalability? Teacher learning should contribute to student learning and vice versa.


I’ve spent a tonne of time building my digital self. In this past year I have lost myself in the Google ecosystem. So Cool. Modern Learning? I’m in!

I have reconnected with Twitter…300 posts and check out those analytics!!Teacher Blog? Why not! New iPhone? That was easy!

My email has hit INBOX ZERO every day for the last month. ZING!

I have reconnected with 3 friends from high school via Facebook. WOOT!

TEDEd…bring it on!

EdTech presentation? U betcha!

Flipboard, Instagram, G+, Podcasts, WordFeud, Snapchat… [sigh]

And, despite all of this, I feel unenthused about my tech use. And I am bugged about that.

A major dedpressive reason for my discontent with connectedness and digital use is that right now, I feel that the fun is becoming work. In many ways this has been the best work year of my life.

Regardless of the view, a reconnection with Actual Me will be both challenging and revelatory. My garden is beckoning. My dog needs walking. My kids want to go out and play. My spouse wants a date night…

The actual me could use some tending so my actual life will be everything for the next two months.

I have decided to go partially offline for the summer- deep enough to feel the distance to the shore, but not so far that the undertow pulls me out of relations with my circles.

So here is what I will try…

  1. My phone will be for calls only.
  2. My laptop will hibernate in it’s dock.
  3. My social media connections will wait.
  4. My digital work connections will wait.
  5. My XBOX One will wait.
  6. I will play with my kids.
  7. I will hang out with my spouse.
  8. I will walk my dog.
  9. I will read.
  10. I will write.
  11. I will sleep.
  12. I will meditate.
  13. I will exercise.

I will meet up and talk and connect in real time and I hope to discover…well, I am not sure what I will discover.