This internet instruction class has changed my perspective on the internet forever. I worry that I will develop an even more serious addiction to the internet. But the addiction has undergone a metamorphosis.
Before I use to limit my internet excursions to three things: the occasional Google search, checking my e-mail 17 times a day, and looking at Facebook profiles of people I barely speak to for what is certainly an unhealthy amount of time. All of these things amounted to a good three or more hours of superficial computer time.
Now I have this blog that I can't seem to stop updating, despite the fact that I have no real audience following it.
I have a delicious account for social bookmarking, a concept I had never even heard of before a few weeks ago. Check out this video to learn more about how social bookmarking works. If you have a ridiculous list of bookmarks you visit regularly you'll probably find this fascinating.
I now have a blogline. This is a website I can go to where the updates to all the blogs (and news websites and comic strips, etc. etc.) I'm interested in are compiled. Skimming through it all makes me feel connected, intelligent, and slightly overwhelmed all at once.
I also have a Flickr account for photosharing, a podcasting site that I'm hesitant to play with, and a website to use once I have students again.
It might be a good thing I'm not teaching right now. It gives me time to wrap my head around all this new technology on a personal level. When I return to teaching (if I return to teaching), I'll have enough experience with these new technologies to apply them to projects for my students.
Perhaps the best discovery that has come from all of the exposure I've gotten to these Web 2.0 applications is subscribing to podcasts from NPR. I've been able to listen to radio programming I loved in Miami but cannot hear in Gainesville. I hear my news on topics I'm interested in, get "Fresh Air," "The Diane Rehm Show," "This American Life," and a new show I'd never heard of called "Poetry Off the Shelf."
Listening to that last show made me think of my own poetry and how rarely I write anymore. So I went through some old files and found this little poem called "Night Flight." I made it into a podcast for an assignment, and you can listen to it here. It's about the sadness and beauty of death.
After Obama won the election, I was jubilant. I suppose I'm still excited. It's just that now that I've reread this poem my exuberance has been tempered by the sadness I felt when I wrote this piece. Poetry has a way of getting under my skin in a way that few other things can.
So to sum this long winded blog entry up - now I'm online for more than my usual three hours a day. However, I no longer feel like I'm wasting time on the web. My relationship with the internet has become deeper and more powerful than I ever could have imagined.