Can I just say reason number 1,522 why I love COETAIL is because we’re able to read articles from numerous websites! I can read AND respond to something that I read about on Huffington Post?! Mashable?! Yes! Good thing I signed up for this! If this makes sense, at all, I think the whole Internet is being used to spread global awareness. I was just at professional development session promoting The Hour of Code and learned that last year’s Hour of Code was able to reach 15 million users in FIVE DAYS! It took Facebook three years to reach the same number of users; Twitter 2.5 years. This is due to the connectivity of the Internet.

Christine Erickson’s article on YouTube resonated with me, as did a lot of the reading for this week. I am sure I’m not alone when I say this, but I could spend (and have spent), literally, HOURS on YouTube. It usually starts with something a friend posts on Facebook, or I have my favorite pick me up videos (oftentimes, videos or vines of puppies- what can I say. I am easy to please!). From there, I’m somehow reminded of something else, or reminded of another video, and the next thing I know- I’m watching conspiracy theorist videos on the Illuminati! How did I get here?! I love her breakdown of if she watched 2.5 hours of YouTube each day.

“That’s 25.5 days, which means I spent nearly a month watching YouTube videos in 2012. I could have made multiple trips to the moon and back. Jogged in 82.5 marathons. Rode a rollercoaster 12,260 times.”

What a reality check! I start thinking about all of the goals I could accomplish, if I could only use my YouTube time wisely. I could potentially learn a new language! I could be a better coach to my athletes by looking for purposeful videos to help them with their techniques. If I could pick one person who truly uses his Internet time wisely, I would say my husband, David Lee. This guy has playlist after playlist of a group of teachers in the midwest who host an EdTech podcast, or listens to the week’s news in Google, or reviews on the latest tech gadgets and their efficiency in and out of the classroom. It is because of the way he uses various web based tools that he was able to connect with another educator who loves Minecraft as much as he does, and ended up being a contributor to a published book about Minecraft in the Classroom! I like to think that I am not biased in thinking this, but David is using web based tools to promote technology in education, and to educate himself on best practices in the classroom. I strive to do the same, but I am definitely not at the level that he’s at. We’ll both be at a coffee shop trying to complete tasks on our to do lists, and I’m over here looking up puppies and babies playing together while David is over there connecting with people and pretty much being brilliant.

I say all this not to put myself down, or beat myself up for being lame, but to share an example of how an educator is spreading awareness through a multitude of web based tools. Much like Kevin Curwick, the brave young man from Minnesota (brave young man?! Who am I? My grandmother??), who used Twitter for good, David is doing the same. With so much ugly going on in our world right now, it’s refreshing to see people across the globe using the web for positive productivity.

This chart brilliantly depicts MY brain on YouTube!

I love that I can find silly videos or funny articles but must make sure that I’m creating a balance of silly/funny with purposeful and educational- an idea that I want to leave with my students as well, but am having difficulty doing this effectively. They get caught up in the excitement of being able to chat their friends while working on an assignment, or playing Clash of Clans instead of working on vocabulary and I get it. I do the same thing while I’m working, too. I am all ears to those of you with tips or tricks you’d be willing to share!