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 ?