For those of you who haven’t jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, and aren’t consumed with the various benefits and drawbacks of the myriad of Twitter clients available for the popular social networking service, these reflections may not be of any value to you. For those of you who ARE using Twitter, and are familiar with Tweetdeck, then you might already know about the huge shift that the application has taken with it’s most recent update.
Native apps can be overrated
I use a LOT of different devices to perform my job, and as I bounce around between iPads, laptops, PC machines, Macs, and more I’m increasingly dubious about the benefits of native apps over well written and executed web apps. I come across teachers asking for good “image search apps” or “math apps”, and they’re surprised when I point them towards a website that I’ve been using for years, that’s available on all platforms via a web browser. As an added benefit with the recent update to Tweetdeck, it used to consume massive amounts of energy and processing power from my computer thanks in large part to having Adobe AIR installed in order to make it run. The new client runs as an HTML5 web app, which makes it play nice with almost all devices now, and my laptop’s battery doesn’t take such a hit.
My ADHD is both a curse and a boon to my job
I’ll admit, I’ve never been diagnosed with ADHD, but my work patterns would indicate I exhibit many of the symptoms of the disorder. Being able to be connected to a dozen Twitter streams at a time via Tweetdeck feeds my brain in a way that both hinders some of my more contemplative job duties (for which I’ll often have to turn twitter off), yet also gives me a river of information that usually provides me with several timely & relevant resources and information that I can then share with others that don’t have the time to be rocking half a dozen hashtag chats on Twitter.
I’m beginning to fear change
Perhaps this is a function of aging, empathizing with those I’m serving, or increased stress in my personal and professional realms, but I’ve begun to grow more and more attached to the tools that I’m using on a regular basis. The methods I use are generally always shifting, and I’ll occasionally use new tools in a deliberate or playful manner, but I’ve found myself increasingly resistant to letting go of established tools and applications that have become an integral part of my workflow. That having been said, once I do accept change, I often do it with reckless abandon (those of you still lamenting the death of iMovie 6 need to LET GO, iMove ’09 and later ROCKS!).
I have become the 20th century educator’s worst fear
Along with my fear of losing my beloved tools, comes an increasing awareness that I function best, and almost exclusively, when I’m working with others. I find myself feeling more creative, the feedback I receive is immediate and actionable, and when I fail, I have a network of support to lean upon. When I’m forced to complete tasks in isolation I feel as though one of my limbs has been tied down, and I’ve been left to figure out to scale the cliff face with only one arm; it’s doable, but it isn’t going to be pretty.