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Thursday, December 10, 2009

21st Century Alignment Guy

I don't know about you, but sometimes I find all of the new technologies and toys out there a bit exhausting. I seem to be one of the few people I know who isn't racing to drop his cell phone plan to by an iPhone. Not that iPhones are bad, mind you. I just get a bit tired being "plugged in" all the time. That's one of the big reasons I don't blog as much as many with blogs do. I just need to get away from this machine every now and again. I'm a guy who likes to wander off into the woods for a few days just as much as I like being plugged in. I think a everyone needs to find the right balance for them.

With that said, the more and more I learn about tools that can keep one plugged in all over the place, the more it strikes me that what the tech geeks are saying may indeed be the case: we have only seen the beginning of this revolution. So, I think it is wise to hop on board and ride the wave so to speak.

I have recently been introduced to a flurry of new tools. Things like Etherpad, GoogleWave, Twitter, and Ning are all tools I'm trying to harness and use. Each of these has a purpose, and I think I'm getting better at choosing the right tools for the right purposes. Today was a case in point. I had online chats going in three different venues simultaneously, all the while updating a Moodle course and using Etherpad to collaborate with a colleague. It was exhausting, but not too fast either.

This has me wondering if, someday, there will be some open source, plug and play apps out there that I could use to build alignment tools with. I'm by no means a programmer, which is why I need to work with smart folks like that to do my work. And there will always be a place for programmers, I'm sure. But gosh, if there where some free apps out there I could use to build the things that are in my head, that would be outstanding. And I'm guessing that day is coming sooner than later. This could help keep costs down for end users, and hopefully allow them more flexibility, too.

We'll see how this revolution goes. I'm excited about it, though.