Going Offline

I love learning, especially online.  Since participating in my first online course 3 years ago I’ve been hooked.  I’ve participated as a student, facilitator and as a presenter.  I’ve also learned online informally by reading and commenting on blogs as well as writing on my own blog.  Regardless of my role I am always learning.

One of the problems I’ve encountered with online learning though is that I become immersed to the expense of a lot of other areas of my life.  That’s what happened in September and why I’ve been offlin’ since then.  At that time I was participating in the excellent course Facilitating Online 2010, presenting at a CEET Moodle Meet, co-presenting at my district’s summer professional development days and all this in the midst of a busy school start up.  (I did try to say ‘No’ to the CEET Moodle Meet–but when one of my online mentors asked me my ‘no’ somehow turned into a ‘yes’).

So I took a break.  A long break.  I’ve still been checking my Google Reader account, and tweeting a bit.  But I’ve also been making a concerted effort to feed the other areas of my life; taking up the guitar again, reading fiction; ensuring that I am fully present when I spend time with my kids and husband.

It’s time to be back online though.  I miss writing and commenting, sharing and helping.  I hope to do it right this time and maintain balance.  To remember what is truly important.

Balancing Act by Digitalnative (Colin Harris)  AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative WorksPhoto license: AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

To help me maintain balance I am going to:

  • limit the amount of time I spend online
  • only make my kids wait at most 10 minutes if they ask to play with me while I’m online
  • remember to say ‘no’ if I know that participating in or facilitating an online course is going to take up an excessive amount of my time

This list is just a start.  I’m sure that I will find more to add to it as time goes by.

Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear from you if you have thoughts on what I’ve written.

4 comments to Going Offline

  • I wondered what was keeping you offline! I think that coming to terms with the amount of time online vs offline is a natural step when one jumps into the digital world. It’s also vital to being healthy and whole in that balanced way that you’re talking about, especially if there is a family/children in one’s life!

    I haven’t been online in certain ways these past few months myself – my Google Reader is ridiculous and I no longer facilitate the group I started on CEET :( The Masters coursework is all-encompassing and all my recent posts and most tweets are MEd related (LOVING the MEd!) so not much time for anything else!

    Good luck with maintaining that balance! If you have any wise tips, I’d love to hear them!

  • Errin, thanks for commenting! I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying your MEd. It’s refreshing to hear that you’ve also had to let some things go (like the CEET group). We definitely can’t do it all!

    One of the things that I’ve started doing and that is helping me with balance is not making my kids wait very long when they need me for something. They are at that stage where they can go a whole day without needing my active participation (other than feeding them) and then other days they want/need me a lot. I hope I can stick to my 10 minute rule once school starts up again and life gets really busy. I know I don’t have balance when I’m ignoring my familiy’s needs.

    All the best in the new year!

  • I have missed you, Claire which just goes to show how much you contribute to my own personal learning :)

  • Sarah, thanks for your kind words :-) I feel badly for having dropped out of sight in the FO2010 course. I really gained a lot from the portion of the course where I was active. You modeled things so well and there was a great group of participants to bounce ideas around with and to learn from.