Before looking ahead to 2013, it is probably sensible to review the year that has been already. Last year I wrote a few targets for the year ahead and it’s odd, because many of the things that have happened weren’t on the list!
But let’s start with the 2012 targets first…
ICT Planning – The ICT Planning website (www.ictplanning.co.uk) changed guises a few times this year but is now in a state that I am happy with and teachers are not starting to pick and choose some of the ideas from it. I’m not sure if we’re covering everything, but I’m also not sure if we need to cover it all. Some children have challenging ICT and the task is to now push forward with making sure all of them are challenged.
ICT Assessment – We have started using ICT assessment cards to track the assessment of ICT, these launched in October but again, I am fairly happy that these will be used well in the coming months.
Home Learning – I had an idea of having loads of links to different areas for times tables, reading, spelling but because of other commitments (below) this never really happened!
Digital Leaders – Well we went to BETT, we launched the Digital Leader website for the SSAT, I shared it at the Teachmeet too. But then it didn’t take off because another one came along instead, so I deleted my Digital Leader site. Oh well. These things happen I guess.
Sharing – We have shared lots, through Teachmeets, conferences and such like.
So on reflection, things have gone ok from that list. But now to the top moments of the year.
*I wrote my first book. It seems hard to believe that even though I wrote my predictions for 2012 on December 27th, I didn’t know I was going to write a book in 2012. I wasn’t approached until mid-January, had it all written and checked by April/May and a copy in my hands before the Summer holidays. Wow. It seems to have gone down well so far and people have given some very positive comments too. For those going to BETT, I will be on the Rising Stars stand sharing some tips from the book at various times. I have also been involved in another (huge) project for Rising Stars but I’m not sure if I can share that just yet….
*I got nominated for “Primary Innovative Teacher of the Year“. Again in January, this came as a huge shock and honour. Despite not winning, it was a huge privilege to be nominated alongside Sir David Mitchell of Blogging.
*I helped organise Teachmeet at BETT. This time around it was fab to see Dawn Hallybone and Miles Berry hosting while Ian, Drew and I just kept things ticking along in the background. It was also much less scary than presenting!
*Teachmeets got bigger in Hampshire! We held a Teachmeet with 60 people at Titchfield Primary School and it went very well. People seemed happy and buzzing with ideas. Next stop is to have one every half-term in different parts of the county.
*I appeared on Brazilian TV. This was as part of their piece on programming in the classroom. They came in to talk about Scratch and the work we were doing and it was a fun few hours. The children loved being on TV, even if they didn’t know what was going on because most of it was in Spanish!
*I got my own class! After two years as a PPA teacher and two before that as a consultant, I finally got the chance to have my own class and I have loved every minute of it. I have a great bunch of children with varying abilities but they are amazing and they challenge me everyday. Particular highlights include a boy with Aspergers explaining QR codes to the rest of the class, the ideas porcupine (more on that another time) or the amazing websites they made about the Tudors. I was looking at other schools and I did apply for a few jobs elsewhere, but without having class-based experience (of my own class and not covering) it was going to be difficult to move.
*Hardware – I didn’t think that we would be getting any new tablets or devices this year, but we got ourselves a Nexus (which we didn’t like) and some Playbooks (which we love). The Nexus is great, personally I love it, but for school with the lack of a camera, it proved to be disappointing. The Playbooks however are cheaper, have a camera and play Flash so they can be used for Busy Things and Purple Mash which is great.
*Our school blog reached 600,000 views! This happened just yesterday and is a huge number. I wish there was a list of most viewed blogs in the country, but we must be in the Top 20. It’s a great achievement for the children We were also runner-up in the whole-school blog awards too!
*Writing – This year as well as writing the book I have written a few articles for Teach Primary and Springboard Stories magazines.
*I presented at a few conferences – and did my first keynote. I presented at the Hampshire ICT conference discussing Google Apps, the Future of Computing, Oxford Brookes and ReThinkingICT, all looking at the Primary ICT Curriculum, and I was one of the keynoted at the Edech conference in Blackburn where I shared a whole range of free tools to help with ICT.
*The Google Teacher Academy returned! This time not only was I attending, but I also helped to judge a few of the entry videos and then led the best group of people possible. I was very happy with my table and we had a lot of fun indeed.
* I created blogs for other people. As well as making blogs for my own projects, I helped a few teachers create their own too. I also steered @7puzzle into having his own website (www.7puzzleblog.com) to host his maths challenges. This has been a great resource and one we use at school a lot.
*My Digital Leaders are amazing – Firstly we took 4 DLs to BETT, they were interviewed by the legend that is Russell Prue and then they presented for Scholastic and Google. Just before going home they met Prince Andrew as well. Then just a few weeks later 3 different leaders went to Learning Without Frontiers to take part in a group presentation where they were also amazing. Then came Hampshire KidsMeet where loads of them led and presented on a range of tools and ideas before the Teachmeet last month where 2 groups showcased making websites and using Popplet. Phew.
*I ran a bit. I tried to run 1000 miles this year which was 20 miles a week. I know that Mike McSharry in particular will see this as a list of excuses,but I got injured around May and I did the man-thing of trying to run on it too early and making it worse. Then I ended up giving it 8 weeks or so of no running and finally around September it got better. But with writing the book, having my own class again and the injury, I just couldn’t manage the 1000miles. I think I probably ended up with around half of that, maybe a bit more but I did raise £420, before Gift Aid, for charity. I also completed three half-marathons and the Great South Run.
*I turned 30. In February, Charlie organised a surprise party and loads of my friends were there and it was great. 30 isn’t that scary really is it?
*Oh yeah, I got married…probably the biggest thing to happen in this crazy, amazing year was that I married my wife, Charlie. It was wonderful having friends and family together at once for a fantastic day!
I think that’s about it…I must have missed something, but that was my 2012. I feel like I am never going to be able to top that and 2013 will be a damp squib, but if that ends up being half as good as 2012, I will be happy! Thank you to everyone that has read my book, my articles, my tweets, my blog or shared anything with me. Here’s to next year!