Moose Square 2009 marked my entry into the edublogosphere.  It’s hard to believe I’ve only been blogging and sharing for a little over 6 months.  With over 10,000 blog hits, I feel like I’m off to a great start, and can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

I never imagined anyone would actually read what I wrote, and maybe it’s still just my Mom visiting my blog a lot, but I think a few people may be listening!  I just hope that as I share my ideas and musings are helpful.

My goal in starting a blog was to be practical and share useful things, not blog on about what I think.  I have posted a few reflective posts, but there is power in this.  When one reflects on their practise and philosophy they begin to see patterns, trends, and come up with new inspiration.

Top Posts:

moodlemain2 My favourite post – Avoiding the String Effect in Moodle – I’ve spent a lot of time working with moodle this year.  I see it as a powerful tool to support learning.  This post was all about making it more like a webpage to make it easier to navigate for my elementary aged students.  I used hyperlinks to link to hidden content, instead of having a long string of activities and links that is hard to navigate.
P1000392My most popular postUnique Geocaching Containers – I’m an educator, blogging about using technology with a focus on the elementary classroom, but I’m also a geocacher, and I get many hits from other geocachers.  This post highlighted some interesting geocache containers that I had seen or discovered in my caching adventures.
imageMy most commented on post Flash Activities in the Smart Notebook Lesson Activity Toolkit 2.0 – Just after the Lesson Activity Toolkit  (LAT) 2.0 came out for Smart Notebook I had many people on my staff asking me what was in the LAT and how they could use it.  I put together short explanations and examples of each of the interactive flash activities provided in the toolkit.  I’ve even referred back to it myself when I trying to come up with a good idea for a lesson!
My surprise post
The Essential Quality of an IT Leader: Ability to Adapt – This post was written as an assignment for my IT Masters program.  The task was to think of an IT leader that influences you and pick one quality that really sets them apart.  I chose to write about my colleague, moodle mentor, and all around helpful dude, Technology Integration Specialist, Todd Diakow.  He was the first person that came to mind for the assignment and I  think the piece turned out really well, even though it is reflective, philosophical jargon.

Highlights of 2009:

  • It for Dominica Project – Teaching other teachers in the Caribbean for the P1000441 second time always stands out as they best part of my year.  The opportunity to share and inspire other educators in a setting as beautiful as  Dominica is inspiring and reenergizing.   I go back in July for a third time!
  • Starting a Masters in Instructional Technology Leadership – I always said I didn’t want to pursue a Masters Degree.  I didn’t want to try and balance teaching and trying to go to school.  I didn’t want to focus on philosophy and educational jargon, I was really uninterested in the whole idea.  Then I found a program that had the three necessary pillars for me.  It focuses on leadership, the use of technology in the classroom, and technology infrastructure (boxes, wires, networks, security, administration).  I’m 1/4 of the way into a three year program from the University of Lethbridge.
  • Microsoft Innovative Educators Forum in Brazil – The Everybody’s MarvinGotta Story collaborative digital story telling project I worked on with educators in Coalhurst and Arrowwood went amazing places this year.  Darlene and I traveled to Salvador, Brazil, to share our innovative project and connect with other educators from around the globe.  It was a fantastic, powerful opportunity.
  • Building a CLN on Twitter – I  started twittering in March.  I was best_individual_tweeterintroduced to the idea by Tom Whyte: @tomwhyte1, a teacher I had worked with in Calgary.  We reconnected at the Teacher2Teacher conference in Bow Island.  I attended his feature teacher session and he shared the idea of using twitter to share thoughts, ideas, resources, and connect with educators.  Brilliant!  I haven’t looked back!  I like Rod Lucier’s Collaborative Learning Network (CLN) as opposed to a Professional Learning Network (PLN), in fact I even referenced his idea in my last masters paper. (Proper APA citation for a blog is a bit of a nightmare!)

Looking forward to 2010:

  • New Collaborative Projects – I have really enjoyed working with and learning from educators in my own school division, across Canada and the United States, and increasingly Worldwide.
  • Physical Challenges – I love the outdoors, and I love being active.  I’m  nike running my first half marathon in February and I would like to tackle a full marathon at some point this year, but we will see how the half goes February 20.
  • Change – With a new year brings new challenges and directions.  I can’t wait to see where 2010 takes me, 2009 was life changing and I’m sure 2010 will be no different.
  • New Blog Posts – I will always shares what inspires me, whether it is things I discover traveling, or things that come to me running (my best thinking time!)  Look for more information and ideas on:
    • Using moodle in the elementary classroom
    • Manipulating code in moodle to make it do what you really what it to do!
    • Using images , video and other media to enhance learning and digital literacy
    • Creating Critical Thinking Activities Using Technology
    • My forays into Games Based Learning – watch out world…..
    • Using Smart Response for more than just right/wrong questions
    • How I use my IWB in the classroom – the fingerprints should not just be from the teacher
I’ll end my year end thoughts and musings with a video of a conversation I had with Dr. Maurice Hollingsworth.  The goal of the video was to show how a teacher uses the internet and technology in the classroom as a source of inspiration for an undergraduate course about using the Internet in Education.  Maurice has been a huge source of inspiration and a mentor to me.  He is a professor of Educational Technology at the University, the head and driving force behind the IT for Dominica project, and a great professor and colleague, Enjoy!