Friday, July 5, 2013

What's your handle?

What's my what?!

I am all of sudden feeling like my grandma. Now do not get me wrong, Gram is totally cool. She has been known to whiz down a hill on a sled and dominate at laser tag, but she is not always up on the lingo.  "Holy toot!" (Her favorite expression when something shocking happens like a girl at the store has on short shorts or she accidentally dips in the hot salsa instead of mild) 

Some of her other favorites... "Jeezo Peezo" (interchangeable with holy toot), "turd ball" (that's a curse word - she uses it mostly during football games), and my personal favorite, "I would rather be hit in the head with a frozen boot," (still translating).



Even though Gram doesn't know the lingo, she still knows how to have fun and get the most out of life. I had to embrace Gram's spunk when deciding to join Twitter. I really did not want to. It was just another social network to keep up with. I could barely check Facebook all day long. WWGD? (What would Gram do?) I will tell you what she WOULD NOT do. She wouldn't sit in the chair and rock. She would go for it. So, with a little bit of peer pressure, I twittered, or tweeted, or ... Still working that out.
I think the biggest deterrent for me was the unknown. I pride myself on being tech savvy, and this was something I did not have a handle on (pun intended). I did not know the etiquette. I couldn't figure out how to get in a chat. I was weirded out that strangers were following me. It was completely uncharted territory. In fact, I was talking texting with Bess, my Kinder partner in crime, I told her I felt like we were the grannies of Twitter. No disrespect. Google Ivy Bean.

I started to wonder. Is this what the children in my class feel like when they "don't get it?" Even further, is this what some of my colleagues are feeling like when the maintenance men come and start installing interactive whiteboards in their classroom? Is this awkwardness I feel about Twitter the same feeling some colleagues feel when we sit in a staff development and we are told about a new 21st century tool?

Don't let the hashtag fool you. I am not completely fluent in Twitter, but I am "doing it like Gram would." I have started making connections and building a PLN (personal learning network). I now have access to teachers all around the world at my fingertips. I have even participated in a chat or two (I may be a few questions or comments behind, but I did it, and even had some RTs - which secretly makes me feel cool). Slowly but surely the uncomfortable feeling is starting to lift and I am using Twitter more often. I may have also overly used the word hashtag in conversation for a while, but I am getting better. It is exciting to wake up in the morning and see how many new followers I have, see a link to a great article, or even tweet a question/thought about what I thought about wide awake in bed the night before and get feedback instantly.

My new school year resolution is this...
*Remember the uncomfortable feeling you had when you started something new. When you see the noses scrunch across the room at a staff meeting, know that it may not be an unwillingness to integrate technology, or that the person is not interested. They may not have a "handle" on what the new technology is all about. Help your colleagues "un-scrunch" their nose. Let them know they are not the only ones that are or may have felt uncomfortable.  And remember, WWGD?

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