I’m finding it harder and harder to keep track of things online. At the time of writing/typing, I’m running six email accounts, two blogs (this one and the ‘in-progress’ studenttoolkit.co.uk, two twitter accounts and one facebook page.
To try and keep myself organised, I’m experimenting with several tools. The hard bit is making sure that whatever I’m doing and wherever I am, I’ve got access to the information I need for any of the above ‘identities’. I’ve had an android tablet for a year and have been very pleased with it, especially using it with three applications which link with web-based versions:
- Evernote is great for ideas and notes, the tags making it easy to keep work and personal thoughts categorised.
- Pocket (aka ReadItLater) means I can save information from websites to, well, read it later.
- Astrid works well as a to-do list, especially when linked to projects stored as plans on Evernote.
I’ve now also given in and bought an android phone, which is more portable and has 3G as well as Wi-Fi. This has been particularly important as my school has still not sorted guest access for staff to use their own devices. It means that between the two I can now access meeting notes, lesson plan ideas and so on wherever I am. Not to mention books, websites, media, my music collection and some games that are far too addictive. But enough – this wasn’t intended to be about the joys of android.
It’s about Twitter.
I’m now making a deliberate effort to ‘favourite’ tweets with useful ideas or links in them, and most are about work. It can be news articles, resources, quotes, teaching ideas, all sorts of things. Some aren’t about teaching at all, as much to my students’ surprise I’m a real person who has a life and hobbies. Like, umm, blogging about teaching. Anyway.
Using favourites on Twitter is quick, automatically synchronised, doesn’t depend on anything being installed (difficult on work computers), and avoids issues with blogs and so on which are often blocked at work. When I get the chance, I read through the favourited tweets, check out the links and think about the ideas. But this kind of reflection is something I could do more formally, and the whole point of my blog is to share reflective practice and see what colleagues think, so here we are. My plan is to, weekly or fortnightly, blog a list of (most of) my favourited tweets. It will include a fast review, what I thought of the links and how I applied the ideas in the classroom. I suppose it’s the same kind of idea as Ed Yong’s ‘missing links‘ posts. But not as good, or as well researched, or as useful. And probably not as regular either.
Starting this weekend. Don’t get too excited.