All aboard the 2010 express

With school resuming in under a week, I’m going to go against all the advice you hear from the experts and make some resolutions and predictions for the coming year. Some will be goals based on dreams that I have for my own satisfaction, others will be the result of expectations from above (specifically my Principal (is there anyone higher?).

But first, it’s always good to see where you’ve come from, in order to see where you can go to.

Starting at the end

Permit me a short reflection on 2009. As a self confessed tech fan, even I was happy when the formal school year ended and I got a break from the technology tsunami that hit. I found the introduction of the DERvices and all it’s associated  PD sessions disorienting at times. I was excited on one hand, nervous at the implications, frustrated at the process and exhausted by the possibilities. I read too much, saved too many bookmarks and tags on Delicious (just in case they come in use), Twittered away to all hours and even started a blog (the last bastion of self aggrandisers, I used to think).

The student reaction to the DERvices was, to be honest, not what I’d imagined. Instead of walking together into a golden age of learning possibilities, I was somewhat saddened to hear complaints about what the laptops couldn’t do, rather than overwhelming excitement about the possibilities to come. A generational quirk…who knows?

My year ended a bit of a jumbled mess.

Striding confidently into the future

I wrote a list (using a pen and paper) of the things I wanted to have a crack at in 2010. Here they are (in no particular order):

  • Moodle – I have a period allowance to develop a Moodle users group at school, for my staff and for (I suspect) our partner schools as well. I intend to become a power Moodler.
  • Use technology in an authentic way to deliver aspects of the PE  curriculum- pedometers and then graphing with Google docs, Outdoor Recreation and GPS receivers, Web 2.0 tools like Glogster, Voicethread and a shared online space, TaLE laptop wraps to create rich tasks, ePortfolios to present work and to display at Parent Teacher nights, video and audio to enhance skill acquisition. I resolve to immerse my staff in the world on Web2.0
  • Create authentic assessment tasks that reflect the use of PE skills and knowledge in the real world. My faculty assessment tasks will be relevant,engaging and authentic.
  • Use mobile phones in class. My resolution is self explanatory
  • Use SMS polling in class. Ditto
  • Go paperless in as much as I, and the “system”, can allow. I resolve to reduce the number of binders on my desk
  • I’d like to stick using Wii in there as well, but that might be biting off just a little too much.

My year has started as a bit of a jumbled mess.

Some of these are taken as givens – for instance, my work with Moodle. Clear cut, working toward concrete goals. And I think I’ve got a good handle on the paperless concept. I think I’ll employ the “seeking forgiveness is easier than seeking permission” strategy here. These two projects share a common theme – I will be able to run my own race, march to my own drum, draw up my own game plays.

Some will be personal projects that require opportunity and time to prepare the students to become skilled in their use. I don’t want to drown myself in half completed projects though. Time to be selective…hmmmmm.

The others are faculty projects and involve those slippery and somewhat precarious notions of collaboration and collegiality. Shared vision, delegation, acceptable standards of work, risk taking and promoting personal growth in “experienced” staff….these will be my mantra.

Ideally, the rest of my blogging in 2010 will be joyous accounts of the journey for each/most/some of these projects – our successes, the back slapping camaraderie, the light bulb popping moments that signify advances in both our professional and personal growth.

I still can’t help but feel a bit nervous.

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