The 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.
- 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 ?