Saturday, January 19, 2008

Letting go and pushing on

The 17 days since I last wrote here have been intense, to say the least. Rather than tell several tedious stories, I'll recount some major events - no, actions I took, and that is important - in the last 4 of those days.

  • I resigned two stipend positions I've had at my school - one in building leadership, and one in technology leadership/responsibility.
  • I announced the closure of an email list I've owned/moderated for tech folks in my district for a decade.
  • I started a social network to replace that email list.

It was all about exercising control over things that I still have some say in. I am not walking away from doing things. I'm walking away from positions where I was looked to for action because I was in a position, and it was my "job".

I will provide that action and that help as an individual. Because I care, and because I can. Because I always have.

With the stipend positions, the obligations that came from being part of the institutions of school and district are now shed. It will cost us a sizeable chunk of change every month. The relief is fantastic. My wife and I will make do. She's with me every step of the way here.

These were not easy moves, but the termination of the list (that frequently got me in trouble with my organization) was awfully hard. I'd have done away with that 1.0 list long ago, but I could not figure out where to put that energy, that enthusiasm, and that fire - on a local level. I inherited the list from a local edtech visionary, and I most definitely felt an obligation to continue on with his pushing of the system - for the kids.

Tictech 2.0So I started a social network for edtech people in my school district. After just a few days, I'm already in the middle of a big decision over private vs. public - which could be huge, if I want the district to allow access to it through our filter. The private network is really pretty clean, with lots of external links to dubious stuff removed, etc. But in this age of transparency, it rankles me to have go this way. It is a Faustian 2.0 tech tale... stay tuned.

I have no idea where Tictech 2.0 will go, but I'm excited to test the waters. I'm a member of several small social networks, as well as Faceboook and MySpace, but I'm not very active on any of them right now. I've never started one up before on this level. We shall see...

2 comments:

J. Pisano said...

Mark,

Found your website from Ken's website. I've started a couple of Ning (closed) sites for various organizations and it seems to work out fine if you can MENTOR the people into using it properly. Like anything -change takes time and people are REALLY used to e-mail and lists... (Our college has not been able to fully switch to our "portal" service's yet for news and updates and the occasional EMAIL from everbody still comes out for very important things (4+years and running!)

I've not found a better free social collaborative site than NING yet but I am always looking. I'm not totally happy with NING's private social aspect and the lack of RSS feeds when used in such a way. But, I know they are working on it and it will evolve, no doubt. That being said, it's very good at what it says it "is".

Owen Bradley, of the digitalmusiceducator.wordpress.com is currently trying out NING with the hopes to include the entire state of Florida's music mentoring program and people. I look forward to seeing what kind of successes and obstacles he runs into to learn from his expertise at such a large level of implementation.

Best regards,

J. Pisano -mustech.net

Mark Ahlness said...

Joseph,
Thanks loads for your advice and perspective, both much appreciated! Now I've got to head back to your site and look around more - some really neat stuff. - Mark