There is a landslide of press on online teaching and learning....Who would have thought things could change so completely and dramatically? What. A. Revolution.
As an online teacher and learner, I have found that there is only one way to succeed: Stop doing everything else. I mean, Everything. You can no longer go to the store, do the dishes, feed the cat, pet the dog, or vacuum. You are now riveted to your computer, about to finish, almost ready to be done, just one more post to write, one more website to browse, and oh! a tweet just for me! How delicious.
Surely your husband/wife/partner/kids will undertand that just as sooooon as you finish this, you will be with them. Just a few minutes more....
Somehow others seem to be able to combine extremely in-depth online teaching and learning with real life (or IRL, they call it) but I have not quite figured out how. In the meantime, What to do? Here are some time-saving hints I have come up with:
1. Eat off of paper plates. I mean, look at how much you are saving the environment by going paperless! It is only fair that you are allowed a little paper in return, right? And think of the time it will save you in washing dishes (and putting them away, if you even even wasted time with that.) Think of the water bills you are saving on.
2. Stop looking in the mirror. Really it is too depressing, when you see what you now look like. Just keep using the same avitar or that one photo of that one time you looked great, and get on with it. In the online world, it really doesn't matter. It just takes time away from your online presence, and as a teacher or student, that presence is the core of your identity.
3. Start seeing the beauty of letting a sunny day go by without going outside. In the evenings, don't even wonder if there is a moon or not; enjoy that computer glow on your determined face and watch your keyboard light up as day turns to night. Fresh air is overrated - once you have let the first day go by, the rest are easier. Stay focused, and keep typing. Don't let the world distract you! If you never, ever look up when someone tries to have a conversation with you, they will eventually give up and leave you alone.
Surely this will get better soon, and I can somehow regain what used to be my life. I understand Shirkey's concept of "It's not information overload, it's filter failure"....and as soon as I figure out how to get a filter on my filters, winnow down the sites, tweets, blogs, videos, discussions and chats, I'll join you at the poolside.
But first, I really want to explore this online education stuff, and the rest can just wait.