Sunday, February 3, 2013

Reflecting on 300,000

My blog readership has just passed 300,000 - a figure that blows my mind.  To mark this, I wanted to review the posts that have been the most popular, some of which I wrote many years ago and which continue, every single day, to receive hits.

The SAMR model and SAMR from theory to practice - these posts, which are linked, have been read by over 15,000 people and continue to be the ones that get the most hits on a daily basis.  At my old school in Switzerland I used to refer to the model when talking about how we were using technology - were we simply doing what we did before but on the computer (enhancement) or were we using the computer to do new things in new ways (transformation)?

Everything will be alright in the end - written as I was leaving my old job and moving to my new one, this was a bit of a heart searching post.  For me I can hardly begin to describe how positive my life has become now in a school that is cutting edge and values forward-thinking.  Every day I count my blessings that I was strong enough and smart enough to cut my losses and move on.  India is not everybody's "cup of tea", but for me what I have found is that if you embrace India, India will embrace you.  I look back at photos of Switzerland, at the sheer beauty of the place, and I do it now without a lump in my throat because I know that for me the most important thing is working in a school where I love to go to work each day.   I am valued by the excellent educators and visionary administrators I work with here who are without exception focused on student learning.  Every day I am pushed forward, my thinking is challenged in a good way.  I am thriving on the change.

10 web tools for recording learning - this continues to be popular as I think many people are searching for tried and tested Web 2.0 tools to use with students.  I just looked over the list and every one of these tools I have used this year too.  There are some new ones I would add.  Time for a new post I think!

Using Technology -v- Integrating Technology - as my new school is in a different place from my old one as far as tech integration, I haven't had to talk much about the SAMR model because with a 1:1 laptop programme from Grade 1 upwards technology is just a part of what we do (we are not using it as a substitute).  However this year I've started to think more about the TPACK framework that links content, pedagogy and technology.  This may become my new favourite model, as we have transitioned into BYOD and are considering BYOD2 with a second device.

Information Literacy, Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship - was a post I wrote while at my old school as I was considering how the library and IT departments should be moving closer together.  No need for this discussion in my new school.  We don't have a library, we have iCommons on each floor of the school and I work so closely with our librarian that I sometimes think we are thinking with one mind.

Digital Tools for Project Based Learning - although I wrote this post while I was still at my last school, there was no PBL going on there, so it's taken me until now to be able to consider this in a more practical way.  Our next unit of inquiry in Grade 3 will be to consider whether Mumbai will run out of water.  We are collaborating with schools around the world as we seek to answer this question, and to consider our responsibility as residents of this mega-city.  With this post I was trying to tie the skills necessary for PBL with the ICT strands in the PYP.   I'm delighted that when I was asked the question recently by the Grade 3s as to whether PBL and PYP could work together, I was able to confirm the perfect mesh.

21st Century Learners need 21st Century Teachers - students are changing and so teachers need to change.  In this post I considered new roles for teachers and how we have to move away from TTWWADI (that's the way we've always done it).  Are we the teachers that our students deserve?  This is a question that I continue to ask myself on a daily basis.

Effective Digital Learning - in this post I reflected on the 4 core elements of digital teaching, as identified by Andrew Churches.  I continue to use his educational origami wiki and have recently considered his post on Digital Citizenship and BYOD (blog post about this coming soon!).

Rethinking Curriculum - most people who know me will confirm that I get quite passionate about curriculum at times.  In this post I've considered the habits of mind necessary for success and the mind-shifts that need to happen.  I wrote this in my old school, where it was impossible to debate this openly (suggesting that things needed to change was regarded as disloyal).   I'm happy that I'm no longer surrounded by this kind of negativity and where the shift has already been made.

Three hundred thousand is a huge figure and the support of those who have read my blog cannot be overestimated.  I would not have had the confidence to move on without you all.  I would not have had the strength to let go and to trust that things would work out perfectly:  that I would end up in exactly the place that was right for me.  I feel I have stood on the shoulders of giants.  I am immensely grateful to every single one of you for your support, your kind words, your encouragement and above all else, your belief in me.  Thank you all.

Photo Credit: pierofix via Compfight cc

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