Monthly Archives: December 2010

So, 2010 is just about done and I thought I would just throw a few thoughts down about the past twelve months and things I've noticed from a personal perspective. I don't watch much television and very rarely read paper based books any more but I've enjoyed sitting down in the evenings since school ended a few weeks back with no particular goal to be achieved and to indulge in some DVD watching. I've decided to re-watch The Wire (all 5 seasons if I can manage it) and there are also a stack of Big Bang Theory DVDs to watch which were Christmas gifts when I decide. I've steered clear of too much online participation and not being approached to be part of any PLP cohorts over summer this year has meant that I've felt extremely unobligated to any online conversation. I've also been playing with an iPad for the first time, trying it out to see whether I feel it has potential in our school. I'd have to say that at this stage I'm underwhelmed by it but it was nice to have web access when visiting the folks up in the mid-North before Christmas in their internet broadband black hole. My parents had never seen Google Maps before and looked at me like I was performing witchcraft when I showed them Street View right past my brother's farm. My father still has a fully functional IBM 386 computer running Windows 3.1 that he does his tax calculations on, complete with matrix printer so the iPad is so advanced as to seem not quite real to my parents.

Looking back, it's been a full on year work wise as I've juggled part time classroom responsibilities with the bits and pieces that make up my Coordinator role. For the first time, I didn't go to any big conferences. That will change next year as my school has been accepted as one of 20 Microsoft Innovative Schools in Australia - this means a few trips interstate for 2011 including Canberra, where I've never been before. So perhaps, I'll need to trade in my iPhone for a Windows phone although maybe I'll take my son's Ubuntu netbook along for taking notes instead.

Here's one thing I've noticed over the year - a big increase in my consumption of music thanks to the ease of iTunes as a way of managing and accessing music. I've always enjoyed listening to rock music (mainly) and still have a huge collection of cassette tapes from my late teens and early twenties that would be cool to digitalise. Having kids over the past ten years has really sapped my music interest and listening - time to sit and listen to music when being involved with young kids seemed to go out the window, plus blasting my peculiar taste in the house was always a touch too selfish on my behalf when kids are napping or playing. Having the iPhone has brought back my personal music interest right back where I could listen walking, in the car or even when working on my laptop. I'm finding myself walking around stores like Sanity and JB Hi-Fi more often, buying CDs after a decade of hiatus at very cheap prices. I have CDs from the mid-nineties with $30 on the price label while now I won't buy it unless there is a twenty per cent discount or it's below fifteen bucks. After tiring of the screechy sounds of the white earbuds that are standard on Apple products (which are still better than most ear bud products out there) I even lashed out today for a lightweight pair of Sennheiser headphones for a better sound experience. I had a pair of yellow padded Sennheisers back when I was at teacher's college in the late eighties that were great (from memory) and I think I'd listen to an album or so in the dark before going to sleep. While my 2010 music resurgence hasn't quite got back to the same extreme, I can credit digital music and its affordability and convenience for it.

Well, I think this post confirms that my thought patterns are running pretty shallow at present. I could also mention that this year has seen me purchasing stuff online more often and that I've even gotten into some Wii gaming in a minor way. I'm always a bit behind the times for a technology lover, with my spendthrift Lutheran upbringing tempering too many impulse buys throughout the year. Anyway, have a great New Year and hopefully, this blog will continue to be a useful place for reflection and documentation.


Personally, both the K12 Online Conference and the Edublog Awards are held at shocking times of the year. I couldn't possibly be any busier when both events are happening. October sees us gearing up for the sprint to the end of the year - planning, writing reports and then November hits like a ton of bricks with the finishing up of reports, Year 7 graduation prep, end of school year events and would you know it, I didn't get to even nominate anyone at all.

But tonight I went to see who had made the final lists and see if I would throw a vote their way. It also shows how much I'm out of the loop when there are so many nominees that I've never come across before - so unfortunately, voting sometimes is a case of who I actually recognise! Anyway, here's the categories I voted in and who I reckon should get to display the funky winner's badge in their sidebar. (Like anyone really cares what I think and will be influenced by my choices!)

Best Individual Edublog 2010 - a few good choices here, but I must admit that I have really enjoyed reading Michael Doyle's Science Teacher blog.

Best individual tweeter 2010 - for me, has to be @deangroom. I am a haphazard and infrequent user of twitter but Dean's mix of personal observations, humorous banter combined with quality pointers to links of interest make him the best out there. Plus he'll often @grahamwegner me, which helps make me feel included and semi-useful.

I don't really like group blogs so I gave them a miss and didn't recognise a n y o n e on the new blog list. I skipped through the class and student blog noms because they made me feel guilty that I haven't fostered my own class blog and student blogs as much as I should have this year and blew off the best resource sharing blog while I was at it.

Most Influential Blog Post 2010 - I picked Lee Kolbert's "I'm Not Who You Think I Am." Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on philosophically, this post really opened up the floodgates on debating about what a quality teacher does or is allowed to do. Much more than some of the deliberately provocative options on this list, Lee at least put her heart out for the world to see and was truly open about what she does. Very cool.

Best Teacher Blog 2010 - At the risk of being narcissistic, I voted for myself! Thanks to Dean Groom and Tomaz Lasic who nominated me (and anyone else who may have quietly done so) and this way at least I'll have one vote. Plus this gives me an excuse to display the badge below. Hey, I'm actually proud that every year since 2006 (with the exception of last year) I've been nominated for something. I've never gone close to ever winning but ....

Best Librarian blog is still Doug Johnson and then I skimmed down to the lifetime achievement award. A few worthy nominees here, but this year my vote goes out to the Blogfather himself, Will Richardson.

So, that's it. Back to admiring my nomination badge ....