I’m often asked about the issue of “time”- usually during presentations/workshops about anything associated with blogging, wikis, microblogs, shared bookmarks, RSS feeds, etc.
“Who has the time to do this?”
“Why would I ever want to do any of those things? Where would I find the time?”
“All those things are great, but I have a life. There just isn’t time to do it all!”
As a rule, I usually note during those sessions that I don’t sit behind a computer 24/7/365. BUT… I wonder if the participants really believe me? My guess is that many don’t believe me (I’m a ‘techie,’ right?), or they assume that the nature of my job affords me more time to read blogs, share on Twitter, add shared bookmarks, and post to my own blogs every single day.
The fact is… my job doesn’t really afford me more time to do any of these things. Instead, I’ve made the decision that using those tools help me to grow as a professional. I’m connected to people all around the world who are willing to share their ideas with me, collaborate with me on projects and ideas, and learn with me about preparing 21st century learners for future success. Why would I NOT make time for that?
We know that young people are also using these tools and gaining extraordinary benefits- when the tools are used appropriately. Perhaps that fact alone would be the motivating factor for making time.
I’ve always been told that you make time for those things in your life that are your priorities. So… why should this be a priority?
- If you’re preparing students to be successful for the future, you need to understand the learning tools they have at their disposal. We all understand best by DOING.
- These tools should be used in schools. Period.
- You will see a substantial increase in your own personal growth. I learn every single day from someone who shares with me. If you follow others in your field who are positive, strategic, and visionary, it’s nearly impossible to find these experiences unworthy of your time.
Here is a sampling of some “web 2.0” tools I use- those that I use most often:
- blogs (I write two blogs, and I read hundreds)
- blog readers (RSS feeds), so that I can READ blogs easily and quickly
- iChat or other IM tools
- social networks (Ning, Facebook, LinkedIn)
- Google Docs
I don’t use every tool every day, nor did I try to take on all of them at one time when I first started. In each case, I found a tool, tried it for a while, then decided if it provided me any advantage or benefit. What I found was that each one serves a different purpose, and I go to them for very different reasons. Of course, there were some that I found weren’t useful to me, so I don’t use them. In some cases, especially communication, I’ve found these tools actually save me time!
Because I’m seeking balance in my life, I’m also very deliberate about how much time I spend using these tools when home. That tends to be more difficult, but it’s important to make my family time a priority, too.
Just like we all need to find time for recreation, for exercise, for learning, for SLEEP… I think it’s also possible to find time to blog, or contribute to a wiki, or share with others in your field through some other web 2.0 tool. Maybe it’s once a week or once a month, but the time is there if you make it.
Is it a priority for you?