1. Favorite discoveries/exercises: The revelation that I could actually blog, and relatively easily, still amazes me. I'm familiar with MySpace and Facebook because I registered (about a year ago) with MySpace even though I didn't set up a page. And my kids have Facebook accounts. And, of course, we see our customers at the internet computers up-dating their MySpace accounts and individualizing their pages. But I thought it would be a lot more difficult than it actually was. Well, I did find it a little foreign at first. Then I got the hang of switching between pages and activities, and I was on a roll.
2. How this program has helped me with my lifelong learning goals: Participating in 23 Things has moved me farther along in the use of technology, of course, but it's actually done something even better. It has given me the confidence to forge ahead with things online that can be tricky and downright difficult to navigate. I've learned that eventually it clicks and then I wonder why I didn't see it at the very beginning.
3. Surprises/takeaways/unexpected outcomes: I was surprised that I quickly became addicted to my blog. I posted assignments while at work, and when they were especially difficult for me to figure out, I went home and worked on them there. I even got up after midnight one night and tried something, again, after I had spent a couple hours at it before I had gone to bed. But now that I am at the end, I've kind of lost interest in my blog. I think it's because the novelty has worn off. But I am happy that I can do this because I have plans to do some things a little differently with blogging, on a personal level, and I think it may become interesting again.
4. How this program could have been different/better: I'm thinking that attending a workshop at the beginning, where some of the initial quirky things that happen with Blogger could be introduced and dealt with, might ease participants into the exercises and make the whole experience less intimidating.
5. Would I choose to do another program like this in the future? ABSOLUTELY!
6. Description of my learning experience: I jumped into this with both feet and kept on running. I carried my binder with me from computer to computer and out to the desk and back downstairs to my workroom. This lasted about 3-4 weeks and then things began to slow down. I came to realize that the exercises were similar in that I had to open accounts, with usernames and passwords, with several websites, so that I could do the exercises. So it became somewhat repetitive toward the end, and I think that's why the bloom is off. There don't seem to be any more surprises. But I do believe that I've come a long way with technology--I'm not afraid to try to do those things that I've seen others doing. I've learned that there is no real mystery to it all. It's like wrestling--you've got to make your moves, repeatedly, and then pin it to the floor at the right time. And then you've got it!
7. Why I think 23 Things is important: If I hadn't participated in 23 Things, I wouldn't be as comfortable with trying out new things online as I am now. And I still wouldn't understand the pull that this blogging activity has on people. I have a greater understanding of why our regulars, who must not have a computer at home, are in the library every single day trying to stay on the internet for hours. Also, my ability to access up-to-date news and information from feeds can only enhance the customer services that I provide at the library. Our ability, as librarians/associates, to embrace technology and all that it offers can only mean much greater service to our communities. We should always strive to lead the way!