Not surprisingly, I follow quite a number of bloggers, most focused in one way or another on the subjects of libraries, K–12 education, educational technology, or a mix of two or more of those themes. There’s Andy Carvin, Will Richardson, Joyce Valenza, Doug Johnson, Chris Harris, and our own MMIS columnists Stephen Abram and Mary Ann Bell, just to name a (very) few. My Bloglines feeds keep me jumping. In fact, I may have to adopt Doug Johnson’s tactic, put forth in his Blue Skunk Blog posting "One In, One Out," where for every RSS feed he adds, he must dump one, and ditto for his collection of 2.0 tools, sites, and so on.
I am reminded of this because I have not yet delved into the world of Twitter, and I do not synchronously follow others’ movements and thoughts—be they relevant to what I’m (supposed to be) doing or not … probably because I can’t find another 2.0 tool I’m willing to cut out.
I didn’t really have a problem with this until I read Mary Ann Bell’s column for this issue, What’s All This Noise About Twitter (p. 36). Mary Ann treads gingerly into the world of Twitter, is at first skeptical, and then … guess what … she becomes a convert, adding it to her panoply of 2.0 social tools. Thankfully, she offers sound advice in the column on just how and why you might benefit from using Twitter, touting practical benefits but also potential drawbacks. Notably, she does not make mention of any 2.0-based activity or tool she drops or limits in order to make time for her Twitter "nonaddiction"!
SORRY, NO HELP FROM ME ON THIS COUNT
I’m sensitive to this issue as we add articles on new technologies and concepts you’ve "got to try." And, occasionally, so are our authors. Last issue, Stephen Abram introduced his Pipeline column as follows: "So, despite the likelihood I’ll encourage some slings and arrows, in this Pipeline column, I want to highlight an emerging, important new literacy—online social literacy."
Potential slings and arrows notwithstanding, I’m afraid we’re presenting more 2.0 technology for you to consider in this issue, and nary a hint of what you should "dump." Kelly Czarnecki leads off with a cover story on using everything from gaming (Wii, Xbox, Nintendo DS) to cameras and Flickr and from web-smart cell phones (for research) to virtual worlds such as Teen Second Life (for building a creative learning community). See The Real and the Virtual: Intersecting Communities at the Library (p. 10).
And Dave Fontaine broaches the concept of the wikitext, with "the potential to become an integrating force that merges Web 2.0 tools … embedding audio, video, interactive tutorials … screencasts, podcasts, [and] text-to-speech widgets. …" You get the picture—or the mashup! See Are Textbooks Becoming Extinct? Welcome to the Age of the Wikitext! (p. 17).
David Hoffman , editor