"Blogging," "wikis," "podcasting," even YouTube was a thing of mystery to me a year ago. When I attended my first explanatory sessions, I thought, "what a great outreach tool!" And then I began reading the blogs of other educators, and think about their thoughts. This has provided not only a connection with others whose mindset is similar, but personal growth as well.
And here is the truly amazing thing to me - how we quickly we can connect with others, thanks to these new web tools. I finally worked up the courage to comment on the blog of one of my web heroes - Will Richardson. One of the other people to also comment there then put a comment on my personal blog. We are connected, it turns out, not just by maintaining similar ideas, but she is also a Librarian. And she knits (something in which I also have an interest). However, she lives in upstate NY!
This is not the first connection I've made - a few others have found my blog when I quoted them - Ben Wilkoff, for example. Again, I have really learned a great deal from reading his material - and put it to work, in creating all my school planning on wikis, and in preparing a section on "Internet Safety" in an upcoming staff development of which I am a presenter.
So the connections keep me interested in pursuing technology; and every library organization in the country seems to be "encouraging" additional knowledge in this area as well. Personally and professionally, I am being challenged to expand my technology skills and knowledge. That's a good thing, in my opinion, and it keeps me sympathetic to my students and other staff who are trying to learn this stuff, as well.