It has been many years since that day. I have not stepped on a yellowjacket nest since... until I went to a recent technology training session about 21st Century learning and web 2.0. As the instructor began revealing tool after tool that were not new, but new to me, I began to hear the hum and feel the stings as I tried to take it all in. Blogging... wikis... social bookmarking... this website and that. Now I love technology, but felt overwhelmed as to where to begin to make sense of all this information. It was after the training that I began to sort it all out. I had spent the summer on Facebook and had a great handle on that, but now I experimented with Twitter and created a title on a wiki page... Doable, I thought. That is until I stepped right squarely on another nest of bees and began exploring the 101 web sites on the handout from the training. Then there were the links from a friend's wiki and the links from another's delicious site. Now I'm once again surrounded by bees. They've come in the form of Animoto, Gliffy, Plinky, and Voxopop, just to name a few.
I spend a lot of time on the web, but had walked right past all of the new tools for quite some time. Now that I've stirred them up, I'm not sure where to go with it all. As with the bees, the experience has left me with a bit of a headache, but the bees are again settling. I'm realizing that clicking on the links to the sites is a lot like opening Christmas gifts as a child. Right now I'm tearing off the paper and exclaiming how fun each will be to play with as I toss it aside to open another. Soon I will move past the discovery and begin to reflect on how I can put all of this to work to help me motivate and teach my students. I can't wait!