What’s in a (user)name?

Quite a lot, I’m beginning to think…

When I signed up with Twitter a year or so ago, I went with the username I have for my shared email account with my husband: klandmiles. It combined our names: mine (Keri-Lee) was shortened to KL and his name is Miles. K-L & Miles = klandmiles. It was easy to remember, we’ve been using that as our email address since 2001 when we moved overseas. I am usually the first to adopt a new tool etc, so I have kept the same username for each new tool I use (delicious, diigo etc).

I didn’t for a moment stop to think about what my username would say about me to others. I met @hitechhall and he said, “Oh, so you’re K – Landmiles!” and he wasn’t the only one! @Skardalien did the same thing, but I said, “No, it’s KL and Miles. This caused him to then ponder, “So how do you pronounce your surname? Is it Andmiles?”

This begs the question; can I really have a 2-person username in this day and age?

Some people I’ve talked to said they feel they’ve outgrown their username or don’t like it anymore. But do we have a choice?

It appears we do! While forcing helping to sign my husband up to Twitter, I found this message on the settings page:

“Change your Twitter user name anytime without affecting your existing updates, @replies, direct messages, or other data. After changing it, make sure to let your followers know so you’ll continue receiving all of your messages with your new user name.”

Do you take notice of people’s usernames? What do our usernames say about us? Do they even matter?

My final question is this: should I change my username or not? Ideas and suggestions welcome 🙂
Should I change my username?
( polls)

We’re off and running!

Photo credit: kris247

Our PD initiative to encourage more technology use with the teachers at our campus is underway. I’m extremely excited and hopeful that our already-busy colleagues will come to the party and take part.

Katie and I have tried to differentiate our approach so that we are catering to the needs of all teachers, be they novices or experts. To this end, we have created challenges each week that they must complete IF they want to be in the draw to win the prizes. We put together a cheeky little teaser to appeal to their more materialistic senses…

Connecting East Trailer

We have decided to use both a blog and a wiki to share the info and tasks with everyone. The blog is more a summary of where we’re wanting people to head for the purposes of this PD initiative, whereas the wiki is a place for information about all sorts of things related to Web 2.0 tools and the like. We hope to be able to extend and refer to the wiki for any future endeavours with technology PD, and also hope it provides a point of reference for the teachers we are working with.

We have 4 challenge levels that the teachers can choose from — novice, apprentice, practitioner & expert — and people are welcome to mix them up depending on the task, e.g. one week they might do the novice challenge, the next they might do the practitioner.

While we have the blog and the wiki for independent learning, we are also making ourselves available for ‘Fruity Fridays’ — a chance to meet with us face-to-face to get some support in completing the tasks, while sharing some cut fruit for breakfast. We hope the ‘personal touch’ will encourage those people who prefer to learn in group situations with a person available to assist should they need it.

I should mention that this is entirely optional. We are not requiring people to do it. We are hoping to reach a critical mass that will help shift to a more technology-aware and savvy staff.

Below are some of the results of our survey, which proved to be extremely interesting and useful to us in developing PD.

What’s great about the results (above) is that it we think it is going to be really easy to make a positive difference for our colleagues. I mean, if all they get out of it is an introduction to social bookmarking and voicethreads, then that will provide them with numerous possibilities for their classrooms. I will consider it a job well done if we manage that much! In the words of a good friend and colleague, anything else is just gravy!

What’s challenging for us is to create engaging and motivating tasks for the teachers on top of our regular teaching load! If only there were more hours in the day!

At the Starting Blocks

Photo Credit: Robert/Says/Hi

Katie & I are about to embark on some voluntary technology PD, and needed to know where our staff are at right now. We quickly put together a survey using surveymonkey to send out to the staff. We probably should have started by asking for some feedback from the blogosphere about our questions, but as it is, we thought we’d share what we have now, regardless.

Our initial thoughts are to get a snapshot of where our colleagues are at currently, and look at building our 23 Things PD plan once we have our data.

We did make a start on the planning our version of 23 Things, but in true techno-geek style, we got a bit carried away. Our 23 things were a bit ambitious. Thankfully Haidee, one of our colleagues, brought us firmly back to earth. We will resume our planning at a more sedate pace once we get our results back.

What do you think of our survey? Are we forgetting anything? Do you have some ideas of where we should start with our 23 things?