A New Approach

The new year brings a new direction for Tools of Engagement.  I want to write more about my own use of technology and social networks and explore how to encourage others to be a part of this movement.  While I enjoy exploring how parents can be more involved in public education by using web tools, I haven’t been able to sustain my writing on this one topic.  So I plan to open things up, get more personal, and push my own thinking in new directions.

One of my first new things to try is a “photo a day” project on Flickr.  Last year I caught glimpses of these projects from some of the edtech bloggers I enjoy.  Over the past week I’ve had the chance to catch some of their retrospectives.  (For inspiration please see: Dean Shareski, Alec Couros, D’Arcy Norman or Stephen Downes. Warning: viewing 366 photos takes time, so get yourself a cup of tea and choose one to enjoy).  It is amazing how you pick up on the change of seasons, the growth of children, the passage of time and the essence of love.

There are various 365 projects on Flickr, but I’ve joined the 2009/365 photos group as it has many members I already consider part of my personal learning network.  Plus, I like the rules they’ve established:

It doesn’t matter what you shoot, or what equipment you use – just that you shoot one photograph each and every day. You don’t have to post them all here – it’s not meant to be a report card or audit tool – but please feel free to share them here.

While I haven’t been able to write a blog post everyday, I hope to manage to click a picture.  I know from the experience of others that it’s not as easy as it sounds, but I believe forcing myself to find something to capture everyday will help me to focus on those small things in each and everday to be thankful for. Pictures can be of anything – big, small, poignant or simply pleasant.  I’ve got my kids permission to occassionally use photos of them as long as I don’t use anything they don’t like.  They don’t yet understand the “why” of this project, but I hope they will “get it” by the end of the year.  Of course I always have my cats to turn to when the kids get shy! (Click here for a link to my photostream.)


Finch and Boo

2009 will be a year devoted to personal learning: learning to be a better photographer, learning more about WordPress (*sigh* i.e. embedding widgets so that they work), learning how to blog “well”, learning how to use a Mac, you get the idea.  I plan to use our 21C tools to engage myself and hopefully learn how to engage others as well.  Most of all, 2009 will be about learning to live more consciously, conscientiously and connected. 



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