It seems strange to me to be reflecting on my year, as it only half over, but as I am heading to an International School in China next term it kind of is the end of a school year for me. So here is a retrospective look at the highs of my past year and I hope that as this blog progresses and ages with me I will add a reflection of the year each year. I suppose that I will follow this up soon with some direction and goals that I want for myself for the 2013/14 school year.
In the middle of last year I put my class blog (www.mrdyerhfs.blogspot.com) forward for the Interface Awards and made the Top five for Best Class blog – Not a bad accomplishment for a little school in rural New Zealand. At this time we also connected with other classes within New Zealand and globaly, which showed me the true power of the classroom blog.
Blogging as a Professional
I began this blog, and it has been a fantastic journal, sounding board, reflective outlet and place to connect and share. I implore each of you to try it, public or private and you will see the wealth that the professional blog offers.
I connected, I followed, I dived in, I was inspired. Twitter has kept me going this past year with connections and inspiration. It has connected with…
- Projects like the Travelling Rhinos of Karen Stadler (@ICT_Intergrator).
- I gave creating something a go and hooked in some friends to create the #NZSchoolTimeLapse. I have not been able to cary on with it since through a school production and trying to finish this term to hand over my class, but other awesome teachers have taken it over, part two has already been created and part three is in the creation at the moment!
- Global PLN – too many to add here and I would hate to miss one out.
- NZTweeps – You all are a daily inspiration!
A year ago I got hold of a iPhone 3, then received an iPad for the class and then at Christmas got the iPhone 4 (Still behind the game, but love it). These iDevices have changed the game, I know that other devices like Andriod can as well, but it has been an Apple learning curve for me. As long as I keep SAMR in the back of my head I know that only good can come from their use. Additionally with the rise in Augmented Reality and Code Apps like Cargobot there is so many amazing possibilities from these devices that are yet to be discovered. If you want to know about Augmented Reality and Cargobot you have to check out the website of Brad Waid and Drew Minock – Two Guys and Some iPads – as they are Grade 3 teachers who are sharing their practice with the world and it is truly inspirational!
(@TechBradWaid & @TechMinock)
PC out – MAC in
I have slowly weened myself of the PC and jumped to Mac with the purchase of a sexy MacBook Air. I’m in love! That is all there is to say about that!
Central Otago Teachers visit to Auckland Schools
Wow… nothing is more inspirational than seeing experts in action and clever designs for both curriculum and buildings in real life. Two days of whirlwind touring to Stonefields, Summerlands, Albany Senior College & Point England where we got to hear from inspirational educators like Andrew Churches (Read his blog Educational Origami) and quiz Mark Osborne about the awesomeness of Albany Senior College (Google it) then see Manaiakalani in action with Point England and hear from the amazing Dorothy Burt about their journey – their senior students presentation inspired me to do better and look at education in a different way.
I have been lucky to make it to three EduCamps in the past year and have made lasting friendships along the way and been inspired beyond measure. If have not been to one yet then you need to, they are everywhere, just google and you will have a great morning of connection and inspiration!
Taking a half dozen students to this kids conference was so inspirational and sadly I will not see the second as I will have already left the country. Click the link if you want to find out more, but think about some of the coolest conferences that you have been to with interactive workshops, keynote speakers and cool prizes and goodie bags then aim it at IT passionate kids who are Year 5 or Year 7 and you have TekRush. The kids that I took last year still wear the T-shirts as badge of honor and I was stopped in the street last week by a kid who was in my trick photography workshop, she thanked me and introduced me to her parents – i.e. it made a lasting memory!
To name a few highlights would be -Edward DeBono, Lane Clark, Ewan McIntosh, Simon Breakspear and Guy Claxton, but then you have to add in all of the long lost and new found friends and colleagues that I got to spend time with and learn with face to face.