I always like to start the school year with a clear sense of direction and personal professional priorities and goals; a sort of pre-reflection, if that makes sense. It goes without saying that one needs, as an educator, to be a:
– better learner
– better teacher
– better leader
and to do something personally and professionally to achieve these ends.
For school, in no particular order of importance, my foci:
- Helping colleagues communicate, collaborate and create using new and traditional tools
- Supporting students and my colleagues in the classroom
- Ensuring that Year 7 students have the best start to high school possible. This includes leading and supporting the Learning Teams for professional development and growing communications with parents using the email distribution list and Year 7 blog.
- E³ (Extend, Enrich, Engage program) – students learn best when motivated and free to pursue areas of interest with support. Placing the learner at the centre of our extension program, using digital technologies as often as sensible, is of major importance this year. Meeting Dr. Nicola Johnson and pointing parents and their children in the direction of the Teen Expertise Network (TEN) has already meant we have hit the ground running.
- Assessment – ‘Assessment for Learning’ always needs reinvigoration with an eye to the future.
- Web 2.0 & Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) – spreading the good word about the potential of Web 2.0 technologies to allow staff to communicate, collaborate and create in a professional and personal sense.
- I’d really like to see the concept of a ‘Personal Learning Environment’ (PLE) become the centre of our educational philosophy as the wireless connectivity and laptops are rolled-out this year.
- Ensuring MOODLE is used widely; I have placed my Year 11 course at our newly named, ePhoenix MOODLE
There is much else of import that could be listed, of course, but the above is on my mind the day before returning to the coalface.
I also like to think about who continues to influence my thinking and help me, sometimes unknowingly and from afar but more often at a very practical, theoretical level. Some (and there are many more of you) of the educators, thinkers and people who are (and continue to be) very important to my thinking about the (teaching & learning) zeitgeist with their books, articles, emails, tweets, presentations, skype calls and blogs include: Chris Betcher, Stephen Downes, James Gee, Eva Gold, Dean Groom, Mark Howie, Steven Johnson, Lawrence Lessig, Kelli McGraw, Judy O’Connell, George Siemens, Michael Wesch, Mark Pesce, Will Richardson, Tony Searl, Elaine Talbert & Sue Waters
Thanks, in advance, to all of you for your collegiality and leadership in 2009.
Have a great year!