After reading some #nurture1415 blog posts I decided to write my own. I have neglected my blog terribly in 2014. It was started with gusto but then was left behind while other priorities took first place.
2014 was my most challenging year. Two new principals, a priority review and loss of passion at times. Never did I think I would be writing this a year ago.
Changes don't worry me and in fact I thrive on change. However I like change to be managed and to lead somewhere with goals in mind. At times I felt out of the loop and not knowing why things were happening.
On a good note I attended a wonderful sprinkling of conferences and teachmeets. Presenting to teachers to inspire them to try new ways and to take risks.
The 24hour skype went ahead although was close to being cancelled a few times but persistence paid off. Connecting with the Cheery School in Nairobi was the icing on the cake. A real life changer for some students. I'm hoping we can revisit next near as our work was not finished.
Joining the New a Pedagogies project was a great start to the next three years where we will be moving to deeper learning above and beyond. This also lead to makers and minecraft clubs running at school. Funtronics became a Friday lunchtime activity and challenged us. A two day work shop with Gary Stager motivated me to have a go with students so I bought supplies and launched funtronics.
MINECRAFT an after school club and a weekend camp was loved by the students. Each fortnight we would turn on MINECRAFT via the MINECRAFT user I had setup on the Laptops. The user only came on at 4pm to pacify worried teachers about minecraft distracting students during class time. After the wonderful weekend camp with Tim Wicks minecraft became a weekly event and culminated with a two hour session in school time. The students have created a plots world and one student our leader created plots for all to share. Back in class many of these students continued to shine with the power of MINECRAFT success fueling them. One student wrote more than he ever has before without being pushed and another was found reading a novel in reading time. YES! We have connection!
Our MINECRAFT club also created a community for many of these students to belong to and with only two rules. - be kind and help others we made progress on socialising some students also.
My school had new directions after the priority review. A school wide behaviour policy was revised for parents, students and teachers. A new vision statement along with a 3 year strategic plan was also created.
At Epsom Primary School our moral purpose is to-
Provide quality education that establishes the foundation for life long learning.
A foundation for life long learning and hopefully inspiration for future learning for all students.
I travelled widely both in Australia and overseas in my quest to share globally. In the Northern Territory I had the pleasure to work with students at Katherine -MacFarlane PS using iPads to create self portraits and leave some skills with the students so they could create and share their learning further. I also had the pleasure of travelling with two colleagues and enjoyed the banter on educational and life issues as well as seeing the wonderful country. I went to Sydney and shared with teachers at a Teachmeet. Travelled to Melbourne to the DLTV conf where I shared the 24hr skype. In Sydney I also attended Slide2learn after collaborating with 6 other teachers to organise the conference over skype. I shared my coding and use of beebots and attended a great session using Lego. I brought back the duck duck Lego activity and gave this to fellow teachers to complete. Create, shoot and share a Lego duck using just 6 set pieces of Lego. No duck was the same, then came the writing about the duck. Thanks to @grahamBM for the inspiration for this activity and the Lego sets.
My travels also took me to the USA again this time to Miami Device. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge about coding and iPads with teachers and educators there. Collaborating to help the conference Organisers was wonderful as was catching up with my educators on Twitter but this time f2f. @techyturner @felixjacomino @tonyvincent @iapplelearner Just to name a few as there were many others. My tour guide @iApplelearner took me to the grand Canyon and new Mexico where we caught up with another educator @jackiegergenstein
I managed to continue to produce two podcasts in 2014 RUConnected with @loisath and AU2Az with @techyturner. It was a challenge to find times that suited both myself and podcasting partners but we persisted.
A new year and new beginnings. I'll be taking off my ICT hat and wearing a WIM hat. Wondering imagining and making. I have relocated the library and after culling the collection will be adding maker stations, wondering stations, funtronics, breaking centres and Siri question walls.
I hope to give many students connections to school so they come knowing they can visit the WIM centre everyday even if only to imagine.
Although not mentioned in 2014 I will be continuing to provide writing and reading catch ups for students via Reading Recovery daily sessions. For these students who find literacy difficult I hope to to give them hope and enjoyment. Never give up!
In 2015 I hope to continue to inspire and encourage others to use Technology to enhance learning and to add value to learning so the learning is deeper.