Been off Blog for a few weeks, feet up and unwinding. While browsing my feeds I came across a link to David Salaguinto's online comic "Office Offline," where I found this comic strip among many that might just suit me as a starting point, for something I have been meaning to get stuck into for quite some time.
My resolution, is easily broken, so that probably makes it a good one, and is to use my recently acquired PDA to help organise my time better. In my classroom I feel organised and in control most of the time. At home too things are usually OK, but creating a balance between the things I want to do and those things I need to do for work I often find problematic. I used to be so good at using a diary, but this has slipped ion recent times and is something I really have to do something about. Another issue is that despite being digitally driven, I still seem to have to carry around an inordinate amount of paper, that gets put down, buried or is never where I want it when I want it.
To some this entry may seem obvious, but I am a relative mobile newbie, so I hope visitors will bear with me. So far what I am liking about this process, and linked to the strip, is that as an MS Outlook user, I have tended to store contact details, my calendar and email here. As a Windows Mobile based platform the PDA I am using, allows me to synchronise it with Outlook so any additions or changes made on my PDA or PC are shared between the two devices, when I dock it to recharge, I therefore get reminders at home and at school about what is coming up, when I log on, and have access to all my contacts, or recently downloaded emails to view or follow up on when I find time.
Last weekend I visited BETT, and began to play with some ideas from previous posts around, "collect, store and share," concepts that seem key to the affordances that mobiles potentially offer to teaching and learning. For me anyway it was a liberating experience to sit on the train and in a coffee shop, using Mobile Word to draft and jot ideas for posts, without the set up ritual that would have been necessary, in lugging about and booting up my laptop. The immediacy of turning on the machine was lovely, even if for the moment anyway it has meant a return to stylus driven single finger input. A later additional and pleasant surprise from this was discovering that table based planning frameworks used in school were compatible with Mobile Word, and that I was able to open, read and edit these on the machine. Why this wouldn't be I suppose is the question I should now be asking myself, perhaps its because the interface didn't present a table tool. Anyway being able to have my "plans in my pocket" to read through and review this week has been great, with the bonus of being able to revise, edit or annotate these in response to ongoing circumstances. Does this excitement, mean I have actually found a new year's resolution that I can stick to?