Advice (and a video) for those just starting

Angela Maiers asked “What advice do you have for those just starting?” Here was my response:

Start with a RSS reader. Seed it with a few select feeds of interest (some professional, some personal). Read. Read some more. Read some more. Click on a few hyperlinks in what you're reading. Leave a comment or two. Return to see if anyone responded to your comment. Read some more. Click on some more hyperlinks. Leave some more comments. Start to participate in the conversation. Read some more. And learn the power of the interactive, social Web…

Also check out David Truss’ new video, which is making the rounds of the edublogosphere:

As I said over at Angela’s blog, the video is extremely well done and, as a techie, I like it a lot. But I also know that there are going to be LOTS of people whose reaction to David’s video is going to be

I DON'T WANT to be that connected.

I’ve added David’s video to the Moving Forward wiki. See also Nathan Lowell’s video, Welcome to Your World!

7 Responses to “Advice (and a video) for those just starting”

  1. Exactly! Listening should be the first thing we do in any conversation space — and it’s the same online. Reading feeds is akin to listening to the conversphere.

    RSS feeds allow us to listen more (and save time). More than that, RSS allow us to separate signal from noise — and if used properly (with Google Reader or FriendFeed) — it allow us to ‘keep found things found’

  2. Great piece of advice and admission that enough can be enough.

    At this point in my career, I’m wondering about the essentials. You know: which skills, related to technology, are truly essential?

    I mean really.

    Does every teacher honestly need to know how to Ustream, twitter, and the like?

    I know many that simply can’t take all of the information.

  3. @Darren: I admit that I can’t take all of the information!

  4. Hi Scott,

    When I first made the movie it was actually a slide show addressed to a class of student teachers. I added a few slides and made it into the movie for a BLC08 presentation. In that presentation I spent almost an hour breaking down the rants, and the “I cant’s”. I then gave a glimpse of the future I see in education and explained the importance of having students (and teachers) experience a network… and THEN I showed the video.

    I’m not sure of the reaction this will get from newbies as a stand-alone video? I can see the fear of ‘too much’ sneaking in, and I can see the ‘competition’ having negative connotations. Can it also excite people, I would like to think so!

    However, I have to wonder: Does this video just ‘preach to the converted’?

    In the end, the video is a story of a personal journey, and one where I started to see truly meaningful differentiated, and empowered learning in my class… that excited me as both a teacher and a learner.

    – – –

    I added some advice on Angela’s post too, including this resource that I hope others will share and make better:


  5. Hi,

    I want to start a blog with my class and I have searched around, read some ideas but, what I can’t find is the best sort of blog site to go to.

    I have had a look a edublog, and so far that seems the best however, there are things about it that frustrate me.

    Can anyone recommend any better? I am a primary teacher.

    I have watched the video but, whilst it was valuable information, it didn’t help me with this query.

    Sorry I know I am just a newbie but, i could really use some advice.



  6. As another of the newbies to technology, I appreciated the video. I think the key for me is to continue to wade into the water of technology, pausing as I start to feel the edge of my stretch zone each time. Once I get a comfort level, I can wade a little deeper. My concern is that the water is rising quicker than my comfort level, so I’m actually losing ground. Inspiration like this along the way really helps.

  7. Scott –

    I stumbled onto your blog today and am really interested in your perspective regarding leadership in education. I am developing a blog for NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation ( It focuses on entrepreneurship and education. This entry about “getting started” obviously caught my eye! Thanks for the advice. It seems like you have a lot of experience in this area – any feedback you can provide me would be appreciated!

    – Julie

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