The Confession(s)

Three weeks have passed since my first broadcast from the blogosphere and I feel the need to make several confessions! During week one I had a couple of technological disasters which I underplayed through neglecting to mention them. The first was the net-book-hoover-disaster. I have recently discovered that if I take my laptop with me on long train journeys I can get a lot of work done. I have a short attention span, am easily distracted and can’t sit still. Train travel  acts as some kind of obedience training when combined with laptop usage! I have completed CSDF’s and worked on university assignments with gusto just because I am unable to leave my seat until I reach my destination. This does rely on fellow travellers to some extent but I have discovered the ‘quiet carriage’ which is like stepping onto a parallel universe of whispers. (Any trains travelling from or to Skegness though are a risk as the incident with the three excitable little holiday makers breaking wind on the seat behind me highlighted). Thus, I decided that if I incorporated my 100hr challenge into train travel and continued with my tireless regime of work too, a net book would be an excellent idea. I purchased one during a spontaneous moment with my children who egged me on with words of encouragement. I had barely parked the car on the drive at home before they had the small brown cardboard box open and were exploring the contents a little bit too excitedly. Using my ‘mum training,’ I assessed the potential hazards and put a control measure in place. With the net book safely on the table connecting to the internet (which was taking some time), and children eating handfuls of chocolate eggs, I decided to multi task and hoover the carpet. Somehow I managed to get the hoover and net book cables entwined with disastrous consequences. The net book fell to the floor and a beautiful crystallized pattern appeared on the LCD screen.  I have estimated that this sequence of events took approximately 7.5 minutes; it will take 28 days for repairs to be made!

My second confession relates to my sub challenge of one word and one photo to be posted on twitter every day for a week. I kicked off with ‘slippery’ which was a strong start and set the bar perhaps a little too high, leaving me in desperate need of inspiration. The guilty source of inspiration came in the form of two delicious jam and fresh cream donuts which I joyfully consumed in a supermarket carpark. I then found a skip to recycle tin cans and got my shot. Bizarrely when I posted the link to my photograph on twitter it directed my followers to someone else’s account and a photograph of a cake (am I a techno-psychic?). The one word/one photo challenge has identified more avenues that I could explore during my 100hrs. I have never really engaged with digital photography preferring to think nostalgically instead about my art college days spent in the dark room. I have had a digital SLR for over a year now and have rarely taken it off its automatic setting. Having to look for a photograph a day has encouraged me to use my photographic eye and my camera creatively and reminded me how much I love taking photographs. The school holidays will be an ideal opportunity to learn how to use my camera properly and I may even experiment with photoshop. I have linked my blog to my newly created flikr account and will continue to take up photography sub challenges and strive to improve my digital knowledge.

My third confession is the reason for taking three weeks to post my second blog; total techno meltdown! At the end of week two, I broke tweetdeck on my desktop and even though I followed helpful forum advice, I just couldn’t get it back! I threw in the towel and left behind technology for a whole week preferring to holiday in Cardiff with my boyfriend! I continued to send myself a postcard each day with edited highlights, snippets of which I’m sure would have delighted and entertained my twitter followers! I got to hang out with TV lovies, witnessed a lady shopping in her pyjamas, got told off at an antiques market and when I took the air at Penarth I saw a fat man having a wee in the sea! I enjoyed my week and decided that I had made the right decision to trial a temporary separation from technology, as I didn’t want my challenge to become a chore. I returned home ready to do battle with tweetdeck and reinstalled it on my desktop. I also set it up on my phone and my weekly trip to roller skating provided the ideal opportunity to test its potential. I tweeted photos of Disco John the MC and the old ladies who run the tuck shop (who told me that they have been there since Bernard had his stroke in 1981). Today I have been working in my role as Creative Agent at Fulbridge School of Creativity which proved to be an amazing opportunity to share the mid-point of our programme through social media. I tweeted photographs and updates throughout the day and gathered some new followers after a mention from CCE.

The connection(s)

After I wrote my first blog, I emailed pretty much all of the creative agents, creative practitioners and teachers that I know in an attempt to share my ramblings with an audience. I was overwhelmed with the response; 70 views in 1 week.  Fellow agent Al Holloway contacted me to see if my 100hr challenge would link into a CP project that he’s working on in Slough. It’s called Get Digital and is a series of five monthly online chats starting mid June where people who use ICT in a learning context are invited to share their practice with the group. There is a blog which explains more about the idea,  I’m really interested in the concept, how the technical aspect will work and if it is something that could be used within networks of schools, practitioners or even agents. If anyone else is like me and taking their first tentative steps into this new world, Al’s project would definitely be worth taking part in. This connection has also proved to me that using participative media can stretch the reach of creative agents in particular and could see some really interesting partnerships being set up. It has also made me ponder the etiquette of leaving comments on blogs. If I read something of interest, I am inclined to email the author directly to offer feedback or to find out more information. After experiencing the usefulness of comments made on twitter, I got to thinking about how if my blog feedback was made public  it could maybe then spark another connection in another reader and so on and so on. From this day on, I will be leaving comments on blogs!

The next step

After being genuinely thrilled by the response from the Fulbridge Tweets and through discussion with Lead Teacher Charlotte Krzanicki I will be posting another full day of tweets on Wednesday 16th June. This will be an exciting day for Fulbridge as they enter into a partnership with corporate communications company CTN to develop an online learning resource to share their journey as a National School of Creativity. CTN is based in St Martin’s Lane London and has high profile clients such as the Navy. Charlotte and I will be taking eight year five ‘Mini Agents’ to London to meet with CTN’s creative team. We are hoping that parents will give us permission for images and films of their children to be posted on the internet through twitter, you tube and flikr, to present a visual diary of the day as it unfolds. As well as sharing our day with a wider audience of arts/education organisations and creative professionals, teachers, pupils and parents will be able to track us and witness what we are experiencing as it happens. We will be sharing everything right down to the contents of our packed lunches!