Looking back and then …. looking forward

Happy Sun Wearing Shades Cartoon ClipartThe Australian school year is drawing to a close.  Time for our summer break, time for reflection and then after a while, time for planning.

This year the reflective part is easier as I can use the chronicle of this blog (started in April).  I started blogging as a record of attendance for an on-line PD – and that PD still stands out as the highlight for the entire year as it was the catalyst for my PD for 2010 and altered many of my teaching practices.


  • Beginning a personal reflective blog – I like the writing process, it makes me think.  I still enjoy watching the visitors tick over and the map dots increase, it makes me feel connected and definitely shapes the way I write.  
  • Creating a Personal Learning Network – there are people who I have never met, that I now feel, I know.  I enjoy the interactions and learn every day.
  • Developed an amazing library of blogs to regularly visit – this is a moving feast as I filter for the writing styles I like, the subject matter etc.
  • Increased confidence and understanding of the power of Twitter – I have written about this before, but the use of hashtags and the prudent selection of ‘friends’ is an evolving thing
  • Attendance at on-line conferences – Reform Symposium etc
  • Being  joined on the on-line journey by local  colleagues who put into practice so many of the things we learned – it is nice to have face to face chats that affirm so much.
  • Watching 4 class blogs evolve at my school through the efforts and contagious enthusiasm of my fellow teachers – we have learned so much and answered many questions but new questions keep coming up.  These blogs  enabled worldwide connections between our classrooms and other teachers and students .  The value is tangible and the foundations have been laid for amazing things in 2011.

Prep KJuniorsPrep SMiddle Matters

  • Beginning Student Blogging – started with having our kids reading and learning to comment on other student blogs
  • Discovering the amazing variety of supporting tools that enhance blogs – PictureTrail, Kizoa, SlideShare, Voicethread etc
  • Maintaining my Delicious account  and Network – currently around 2000 bookmarks which  I regularly refer to (must keep up tagging properly or there is no point)
  • Having my now 18 year old daughter take up blogging


  • Keeping up with the enormous amount of reading on my RSS feeds
  • Balancing the new learning with the old practices and the system requirements – there are still things we have to do – but can we do them differently and better or should we leave some things alone?
  • Maintaining the enthusiasm – continuing to find authentic purpose within the curriculum for the use of these tools
  • Encouraging further involvement in on-line activities amongst other school members – parents etc.
  • Filtering out the material that is most relevant and deciding what actions to take.

As I have previously said, the common element has been sharing – I am constantly amazed at the enthusiasm and energy amongst the online professional world – it appears that some people never sleep! 

I would like to thank the many people who have contributed to my learning this year – I read your blogs (and comment as often as I can), I follow you on Twitter, I attend your Elluminate sessions, I talk to you across the staffroom table and I soak up as much as I can.

Note : after writing this I realised that it mirrors in many ways a wonderful list I read 10 Alternatives to standard professional development.   There are many other suggestions on that list – maybe that can create the 2011 To-Do list ?

5 thoughts on “Looking back and then …. looking forward

  1. I think your words sum up the feelings of many of us who, along with you, have taken baby steps into this big new world! I look forward to continuing our learning journey in parallel with each other over the coming year!

  2. It’s been such a rewarding year building a PLN, learning so many new things and chatting to educators. Have relaxing break and thanks for being part of it all!

  3. Celia…you’ve done it again! Encapsulated so much so succinctly yet so, dare I say it, reflectively! It is exciting and it has been the cause for much rethinking about teaching style on my part too! There’s a lot of affirmation to be had by being in touch with the global teacher network. For me it’s meant personal messages from New Zealand, England and Spain. It’s fun, it’s inspiring and motivating but most of all affirming and heartwarming.

    More soon, we hope!

    Thanks for all you’ve done!

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