It's Friday and many of you will either already be on your weekend, or just looking forward to starting it. Either way, I hope it's an enjoyable one and you manage to get outside, away from teaching, computers and all the rest and have some fun!
One thing I've noticed since a large part of my work life has been online, and my network of contacts expands with tools such as Twitter, etc., is that there's now a large blur between work and play - not only in terms of what I do, but also in terms of *when* I do it.
Working at home (when I'm in the country and not travelling) I tend to be blissfully unaware of most public holidays, they tend to pass me by and often I find myself wondering why the shops aren't open on a particular day, and why are the streets so quiet? I also tend to find myself working much later in the evening, and often at weekends. This has been more acute this year as I've spent a large amount of time travelling for work and even more time when I get back home catching up on the work I should have been doing while I was travelling!
For me this isn't necessarily a bad thing - I like my work and am happy to work long hours if I'm enjoying what I do, but there is this overwhelming quantity of information coming our way these days: Twitter, blogs, email, news sites, Facebook.... and it's very easy to find yourself drowning unless you have strategies for dealing with the information overload. So I was wondering - what sort of information comes your way on a daily basis, and how do you manage it?
These last two days I've been attending (and speaking at) a variety of sessions at an online conference called the 'Virtual Round Table', which I mentioned in a previous post. You can find more information here, but you'll need to hurry as it finishes today. Once again it's been great to see so many educators giving their time freely to attend and speak at an entirely free event, and the generosity of the organisers, who have done a great job. As the organiser of an annual online event myself, I know exactly how much work this involves. But it's thanks to this effort that many peope get a chance to get some professional development without having to find a lot of money to get to a face-to-face event. I know, of course, that online events are as much a dream for many people as f2f ones, but I do think initiatives like this are a start. Have any of you attended (or spoken at) online events? What do you think of them? How do they compare with the 'real thing'?
And so on to my weekend... I'm leaving on Monday for five days in Beirut, doing some work for a large non-profit organisation that engages in teaching and teacher training in the Middle East and North Africa. It's going to be my first time in Lebanon and I'm very much looking forward to finding out a bit about the country and trying some of the (famously) good food and wine! I've even managed to arrange to stay an extra day so I can see the city a little. But, due to work and time constraints, that means I'll be spending most of the weekend working on the planning for the training I have to do there. I guess I'll manage to slip out for lunch either Saturday or Sunday, but other than that it's going to be another working weekend.
How about yours - work or play? Whichever, I hope you have a good one.
Gavin's now finished blogging on the site - check the Guest Writers page to see who our current blogger is.