December 01, 2008

It's That Time of Year...

(Disclaimer: If you're not interested in rants and raves, then I strongly suggest you stop reading this post right now. If not, then proceed at your own risk.)

And no, I'm not referring to the holidays, although those are upon us as well. I'm referring to 'List Time'. You know the ones, the 'Top 10 Must Have Tech Toys', the '39 Web 2.0 Tools You Can't Live Without', the '4,321 Blogs You Must Read'. Hmmmm, did I miss any? Oh, right....the 'Top Tech People You Need to [fill-in-the-blank] (follow/meet/greet/smell their feet....oops, getting off-track here)'. It seems everyone is getting in on the act, whether it's via a blog post, via Twitter, via Plurk, via memes (and what the heck is that word anyway???), or via a workshop presentation.

I'm sitting here wondering if other professions have this kind of frenzy as well. Do my dentists generate lists of top cavity fillers? Do my car mechanics put out lists of top ten tailpipe welders?

I used to read these various lists and quickly add the apps, purchase the latest, follow the hordes. Then I began to feel like I was following the Pied Piper and I started to feel like the rats and feared I would end up in the river (that is where they ended up, isn't it?).

Now I take the road less traveled, I've created another online identity for my Twitter and Plurk, I've cleaned out my blog reader (it feels great to look at it and see it register '0', though for how long I can't tell! LOL) and I'm creating a network of colleagues who have not yet made the interstate, but are taking the side roads as they explore the landscape of technology, education, students, and teaching. These are the travelers which I believe I will learn the most from, those that don't have the answers, yet are willing to discover solutions collaboratively.

Will I give up all of my network? Absolutely not! I will continue to follow those who have helped me become a better facilitator/teacher/learner; those who have made me question my beliefs and as a result, strengthened my convictions; and those who have engaged me.

And in case you're, I will not be posting a 'list'! LOL