"Now, if I can only find the time ...."

I received a Tweet (Twitter message) this morning from a participant in our Teaching With Technology Institute. For the record, I actually received the Tweet first as a text message on my cell phone!

This note of thanks regarding our introduction to various technologies which might be used to enhance teaching and learning included another message which is one I hear (and say myself) all too often: "Now, if I can only find the time ...."
I have a few thoughts about this.

1. Just pick one little thing which you feel has promise for your practice and take 30 minutes to begin exploration. Follow that up a couple times each week and you will be surprised how much you will learn and begin to make this part of your practice.

2. All of our buckets are full.

It’s not about adding more technology or work to our already busy lives; we need to see what we can take out of the “bucket” (do differently) and replace it with something to make our work more efficient and provide content, communication, and other learning experiences which we could have not have done before.

3. (This one actually comes from Michele Martin) "Start a blog." That is, start documenting your thoughts and personal learning in a blog. Also, quoting Jeff Nugent, "don’t call it a blog, call it a personal learning space." And, while you are doing that, begin taking advantage of developing a network of thinkers who share your interests.

4. Remember your educational goals and look for technologies to accomplish them. Before you get too bogged down, I suggest you read IMPLEMENTING THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES: Technology as Lever by Arthur W. Chickering and Stephen C. Ehrmann and consider this a guide.

Oh, one last thought as my colleague Britt Watwood would suggest, use the power of RSS to bring information to you. Now there is a powerful example of how to eliminate one time-consuming task and use the power of technology to quickly find what you want. And yes, I can hear you (and myself) saying, "Now, if I can only find the time" to read what I find!


  1. Great post. Great recommendations. I would probably suggest to start by using del.icio.us instead of RSS feeds. My Favorite Feed Reader is My Del.icio.us Network

  2. Great post, Bud...and solid advice! I do think that Eduardo makes a great point. I grew into RSS after first growing a network on delicious and tagging my own stuff first. Now the two are inseparable, but if you need to start with one, start with http://del.icio.us.

  3. Great advice, Bud--especially that stuff about blogging. :-)

    Seriously--I actually think that your most important point is the issue of time and not adding technology to your TO DO list as much as looking at how you can use it to replace some less productive ways of doing things.

    I also keep thinking about Clay Shirky's idea that we spend a LOT of time on things like watching TV. Maybe it's not that we don't have time as much as how we're using the time we have. I know that I personally have had some serious bouts of TV watching that could have been replaced with something else.

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  5. Thanks, Edwardo for replying and for your recommendation of del.icio.us. That is in fact one I often recommend and it slipped through the cracks during my writing. Good call!

    Britt - thanks as well for confirming the importance of del.icio.us.

    Michele - I love your statement, "it's not that we don't have time as much as how we're using the time we have." However, I'm not going to feel guilty about my TV watching. Life has many components and should include family, hobbies and down-time. I'm continually trying to find the balance. Take one out and put one (only one) back in. Full is full!

    On a slightly different note, a bout with cancer taught me that priorities can change in a heart beat. I'm blessed to be 18 years out and still able to juggle my priorities.