I have to admit that I haven't been as excited about something like this in a long time. However, keep in mind my comments are going to be very "raw" so-to-speak since I am such a novice at the virtual collaboration realm. I am apologizing now for my slow but straight-up learning curve.

A BIG THANK YOU to GEMalone (I hope it is okay to put that name in this blog?) last night for skype-ing with me for the first time. I am especially grateful to him for being so patient with me as I slowly traveled around the web with him and my friend Janetta. He is the type of principal we/I need to get us started on this journey. If we can all be so kind in this type of collaboration the "Skype's" the limit!!! Sorry, I had to do that.

I orginally began skype-ing with my family at Christmas time. We bought everyone webcams because we live 4-6 hours away from all our family. That was in December and we are still skype/phone-ing because my mom hasn't figured it out. It is pretty comical with me and my laptop, head phones, and webcam talking to my mom on the phone while we are both on skype. 4 months later and my 1st collaborative skype is with my techie friend Janetta, and a the PepTecTalk "guy"in Washington! But now I know him! Very exciting. Bear with me as I get off on tangents sometimes. Sorry!
As a new principal to the virtual collaboration let me give you a timeline of how this has all come to fruition(is that a word?) for me.
Novemeber - Attempt to blog. Our tech team was really trying to get all our administrators to blog instead of sending tons of attachments. Weekly district blog The Pride, my daily blog for my staff WEE (Willard East Elementary)
December - Webcams for everyone for Christmas!
January - Hooked up with the webtv channel in our town to start a weekly video podcast for him to post on webtv. Currently I am not able to keep up with this weekly so I called him to ask if we could do a regular podcast instead. This is in my "to-do pile."
March - Blog-a-rama!!!! Finally go the hang of it. I used my blog as one of my artifacts to turn in for my Doctorate application. Yes, they accepted it as a scholarly project!!! Then I will have to bullet the following because it all happened so fast. (By the way I have to include the disclaimer that I have a 1 1/2 year old daughter who doesn't sleep because I think she thinks she is going to miss something. Not sure where she gets that! :) Most of what I have done in the exploring arena has been after 8PM CST. Anything I say or do after 8PM cannot be held against for lack of sleep purposes.)
  • Start searching other blogs. I googled something about Principals blogging and was surprised not find a whole lot. At least it is not labeled as a principal blog. Which lead me to name mine "The Principal Blog" May not be very original but at least I am trying.
  • Create "The Principal Blog"
  • Play around with avatar characters Just a fun random tangent I got off onto.
  • One of my teachers has used online polling with his kids so I dove in to figure this out. Created a poll at for my teachers to vote for next years theme. THEY LOVED IT! Of course I spelled something wrong on the poll and they just cracked up.
  • Janetta talked about bubbleshare so I went to a workshop with some of my teachers and bubbleshare-d my pictures so the rest of my staff can see the products from the workshop and create them on their own.
  • Whew!!!! That's a lot so far and I am still not done.

I will have to continue later. I write all this to many principals would die for this type of collaboration but have no idea it is out there. It is also risky putting yourself out there for others to read about your thoughts. I am just like the kids...........What if I spell something wrong? What if I sound stupid? What if I break an unspoken rule of blogging and/or virtual collaboration? Is my blog post too long? :) If I have these questions I am sure others have these questions too.

Even with all these questions I will keep plugging along in this fun and exciting virtual world!!!

I am off to "Skype" someone!