Monday, November 8, 2010

Throw Away Moment

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This evening, I spent some time deciding what to throw away. Over the last few years, I've facilitated many workshops and given a few keynotes. A few questions come to mind:

  • What workshops do Districts who hire consultants consider worth paying for?
  • What are the top 5-10 workshops you would pay a consultant to attend?

As I reflected on my old list of workshops, which included a list of sessions that considered these points, I decided that my tired list would probably have to be abandoned:

  • Blogs
  • Wiki
  • Podcasting
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Professional Learning Networks
This list of topics have formed the basis for many of the workshops I've facilitated over the last few years. While those topics are still fun to consider, there is ample abundance of resources--and facilitators, whether face to face or virtual--online. 

Since I'm essentially a consultant about to open his hands, freeing my grasp to grab new things, the question that pops into my head is, Where do I want to focus my learning time? And, how can what I learn reach a wide range of Districts?

As those questions appear, I realize that I'm still asking the wrong questions. In the time of "The Long Tail," the power of technology to bring people together across vast distances, it occurs to me that I need to do what colleague Tom Hoffman once suggested--FOCUS on ONE topic, and pursue that. At my advanced age of 42 years, have I missed my opportunity to become an expert in ONE thing? Or, worse, am I a lead learner in an area who knows what few value?

Neither answer--missed opportunity or knowledgeable in an area no one values--appeals to me. Perhaps the value of such introspection escapes some who read this blog. As a writer, I often craft a new piece from the remains of an old one. Now, though, it's time for a completely new approach. Like a boy writing a second draft of an essay that is fundamentally different from the first draft, it's a rip it up and throw it away moment.

Although it's easy to imagine this as a sad moment, it's actually an exciting one...a moment of creativity, a willingness to kick out yesterday's ideas and embrace new ones!

I sent my question out earlier via social networks and received the following from Plurk:

  • How to make time for digital? (Tim Holt via Plurk)
  • Response to Intervention, Type 3 writing prompt training, and training for more writing techniques. (Autumn Robin via Plurk)
  •  Three from Dmantz7 via Plurk:
    • Creative Writing
    • Simplify Virtually 
    • Virtual Connections

From Facebook:

  • How to Write 5E Lessons? (Mark Dunk)
  • Here's a MOBI whether you need one or not. (Mark Dunk)
From Twitter:

  • 5E modeling (Ronnie Gonzalez)
  • project based learning (Ronnie Gonzalez)
  • CSCOPE curriculum modeling (Ronnie Gonzalez)
Great topics, but which ones am I passionate about? That will determine my focus. In the meantime, I'm revising my eportfolio site:

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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