Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thing 47: and furthermore

I've been trying to put my finger on why this round of Things was less rewarding. I think it just couldn't be as exciting to learn "more" as it was to enter a whole new world. In addition, I had already learned some of the techniques, and explored some of the software, in this year's exercises.

The library world has changed a great deal since "23 Things on a Stick." Life is more grim, both at work and at home. Sub hours have been nearly eliminated, so my connection to library life is very tenuous. When I did "23 Things," I had hopes of using some of the tools in work. With sub work disappearing and hiring frozen (in my system), the odds of me using these tools are considerably lessened.

Thank you for considering substitutes to be part of the library community. I hope that we still will be the next time we do "Things." If things continue to be this slow, I would understand if that changed.

There was something new for me in every task. I appreciate the range of choices in the tasks. I also appreciate the honor system which lets us go deeply into Things we're particularly interested in, or to skim the Things that hold no thrill. Even in the tasks I felt completely competent in, there was a new article to read, or an alternate site.

TV and video? got it under control.

But wait, what's that Joost thing?

Oh, Cool!

I wrote in my previous evaluation post that I'd like to tackle a smaller group of tasks that I don't feel fully competent in, or that I didn't fully explore. Perhaps we could have "Lazy On a Stick" or "Self-Paced on a Stick," in which we could revisit either group of Things. It would involve less work on the administrative end, and still be very useful. We could either totally self-direct the learning, agreeing only to tackle a certain number of Things, or you could design a menu based on blog comments indicating "needs improvement." The Top 5 most awkward Things.

My other idea is about developing community. There was a large cohort that did 23 Things the first time it was offered. In my system, I think the second cohort was smaller. At least, I didn't find too many people who were doing it.

How would it work to bundle about 20 participants in a group so we could support each other? If you figure for dropouts, that would leave a manageable number of blogs to read, and I think it would increase interaction. If you pick blogs to follow, you have an unrelated list. Generally for me, a list that is far ahead of me! If you had a group with interconnected nodes I think we'd hang around for each other even if some were slower.

I feel sheepish that despite the extended deadline, I ended up cramming it all in at the last minute, but I rather expected it to work out that way. Life is always full of immediate deadlines, and as the saying goes, "urgency drives out importance" It wasn't until this project was urgent that I could make the time to finish it. It's time had come!

I can't thank you enough for offering this opportunity. Thanks, thanks, thanks.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thing 47: Evaluation

Superwoman!Image by Nils Noack via Flickr

I ended both Thing sets with feelings of regret. In spite of all I learned and all I did, there was so much left to explore. It's just hard to carve out the time I'd like to spend on these Things! I wish we didn't have a deadline, but conversely, I wouldn't have gotten any of it done without one!

My imaginary next Thing set (not swing set) would consist of me exploring 5 Things in greater depth. For starters, podcasts, screencasts, and mashups!

That's all for now, but I will try to add more tomorrow.

And again, thanks very much!
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