photo © 2010 Tania Liu | more info (via: Wylio)
Or maybe you don’t belong to productive/informative groups, or maybe you aren’t reading them in the right environment. Here are a few interesting groups you may not know about, although keep in mind that my interests are in instructional technology, English, and the humanities.
If you have a LinkedIn profile (and if not, why not?), you might want to check in and see what groups have formed there that might offer good ongoing discussions, to which you can subscribe via email alerts. And BTW, I hope you have several email addresses for different purposes, saving your primary work email for . . . work!
EDUCAUSE is a good general purpose technology in education group, as long as you don’t mind sifting past a lot of product posts. Many members of EDUCAUSE have purchasing positions and are targets for new products. Still, there is a strong contingency of faculty and instructional technology professionals in the group who start interesting discussions about teaching and learning.
Technology-Using Professors is a group that, as its title indicates, focuses on technology and teaching. A number of recent discussions are focusing on online teaching and learning, so it is a good place to hear about what other professors face and their practices.
ISTE: International Society for Technology in Education is a wide-ranging group that addresses grades K-12 as well as higher education.
Higher Education Teaching and Learning and its subgroup HETL Scholarship of Teaching and Learning are two top-notch groups on LinkedIn with great discussions on topics from research to classroom methods.
If joining is not your thing, you might just want to subscribe to blogs and other website feeds and check in to see what’s going on in a news aggregator. If you have a Google account (and if not, why not?), I suggest Google Reader, but here is an extensive list of aggregators: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_feed_aggregators
Google Reader is a terrific aggregator for all the web discussions you want to hear in one place, specifically blogs and twitter feeds. Its interface is much like an email environment, where you have all your subscriptions in a sidebar and can toggle to each one to read the latest news in the reading pane. No one wants to actually visit 20 individual sites a day or even in a week; we want the news all in one place.
If you have an iPad, or want yet another reason to have one, the app Flipboard is a magazine-style aggregator that will make the most mundane content shine.