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New year brings new resolve

Here we are again at the time of the year when we ponder our shortcomings and use the New Year as an excuse for change. I never understood why we usually wait for a certain calendar date to arrive, but we do and it's here again.

My personal resolutions are often the typical ones heard - work on the waist line, organize the basement, and learn more about a certain technology. Okay, maybe learning a new technology is slightly atypical, but of the three it is the one I am more likely to keep. It may be the thrill of reading for hours in order to learn exactly which selections to make while setting up a device or the joy of making something work. The stimulation of either one definitely trumps a de-cluttered basement.

Professionally, I resolve to better understand and incorporate social technology into the classroom. I have no earthly idea why the kids now-a-days will sit for hours texting on a phone, posting to Facebook, tweeting friends, or consuming YouTube videos. Alright, I get the YouTube videos but do I have to understand the rest? Of course not, I just have to know they are doing those things with no end in sight, so maybe I should get with the program.

I plan to start with a Facebook account that blends a little personal stuff with course-related material. Being tech-support for my classroom/lab and nearly everyone I know, let's just say I am very rich when it comes to content. I'm not sure if I can do something with Twitter or not, perhaps a decision on that will come after I see how the Facebook effort goes. No matter what, I will be happy to meet one professional resolution before the calendar rolls around again.

Ron Poland is a professor in the Computer Information Systems AAS program at Clinton Community College. Poland is certified in computer repair and networking by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). He is also a Cisco certified network assistant. Questions may be sent to him via e-mail at ron@ronpoland.com.

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