Winding down

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The school year is over for me. I know that many poor souls are still fronting up until the end of this week (is there a point?) but for me it’s the long stretch ahead, the one I’ve been waiting for. Time to wind down.

It’s been a strange end to the year for me in that I missed the last 4 days, and am now recovering from spectacular oral surgery, looking less like a hamster every day, and still turning sickly shades of yellow and blue (wish I had less yellow, more blue) down my face and neck. And now that the fear of losing feeling in the lip has been put to rest, I can think about the year, looking both back in time at events and learning, and forward to next year, planning new projects for 2009.

Funny how you don’t realise the extent of change until you stop to measure it. It was only May this year that I began this blog as part of a State Library of Victoria Web 2.0 PD initiative. During the course of the following 6 or so months I’ve learned many things – lots of how-tos and bits of technology – and I’ve acquired an online presence on Facebook, Twitter and NINGs.  Most  importantly, I’ve learned what it’s like to be part of a community of learners and educators, a community that never sleeps, always on the lookout for new ways of thinking, doing and sharing.

 

So, winding down…

Well, actually, it’s easier said than done. I know that I’m not as tired as many teachers, having escaped report writing (as a teacher librarian), and not having the exhausting face-to-face of constant classes, and that may be one of the reasons I’m not finding the winding down easy to do. Although, I think the main reason is the feeling of excitement which comes from new discoveries, possibilities and connections. Already I’m thinking about what I want to do next year (and I’m lucky to be co-teaching with two wonderful teachers), already I’m planning new ways of doing things in class, ways of engaging and challenging students, using technologies which will inspire creativity and authentic learning. And I’m reading, reading, reading other people’s ideas and experiences.

The best thing about holidays – if you still have any energy or brain capacity left, and amongst all the Christmas and New Year bustle – is the unregimented  time for exploration. The joy of investigating new blogs,  discovering people, and making connections, branching out and connecting those connections around the world, until gradually the world starts to shrink as your map is filled with people you know  and relationships amongst these. How can you wind down when people ‘out there’ are posting great links, new ideas and articles which inspire and challenge?

Yesterday, I started looking at the Edublogs Awards 2008, and here are the categories for nomination:

1. Best individual blog

2. Best group blog

3. Best new blog

4. Best resource sharing blog

5. Most influential blog post

6. Best teacher blog

7. Best librarian / library blog

8. Best educational tech support blog

9. Best elearning / corporate education blog

10. Best educational use of audio

11. Best educational use of video / visual

12. Best educational wiki

13. Best educational use of a social networking service

14. Best educational use of a virtual world

15. Best class blog

16. Lifetime achievement

As you  browse those 16 categories, you’ll come to know a group of people you’ll admire and want to keep in touch with. These people have spent the time making transparent their learning journeys and acquired skills, not keeping these things to themselves but sharing with the world. I’m having difficulty in unwinding because there’s so much to read and enjoy!

Merry Christmas to all. Happy, safe holidays, good family and friend times, and take the time to do what nourishes you.

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9 Comments

Filed under 21st century learning, Education, networking, Teacher librarians, teachers, teaching, technology, Web 2.0

9 responses to “Winding down

  1. jennylu

    I hope you are recovering well Tania. The surgery definitely soulds like it was painful. You have done so much this year and your blog is a must read. Enjoy the downtime, although I’m sure there will be a lot of online on time (and we’ll probably intersect somewhere along the line in terms of all that). Merry Christmas to you!

  2. Thanks, Jenny, I am, and Sasha’s just had his wisdom teeth out today. Thankyou for your constant encouragement and inspiration, and especially for the invitation to join the PLP experience. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoyable holidays, and hope to catch up some time.

  3. I am so sorry you haven’t been feeling well–and I must say your sharing in the community certainly didnt let on you had been under the weather! I am so glad you are in my community. I learn something from you every time you post.

  4. Sheryl, what a lovely surprise – checking comments this morning and seeing yours. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be a part of PLP. It’s really opened up my eyes, and I do appreciate your encouragement and kind words.

  5. Tania:

    Hope the colour improves as the winding down proceeds. And how great that your blogging started as part of the Learning 2.0 program!

    Have a wonderful break…

    A

  6. Nice of you to drop in, Andrew! Colours are improving all the time – yellow, purples, greens…
    Yes, the program that made it all happen. Can’t believe it wasn’t that long ago. Have a good Christmas, and see you on Twitter.

  7. Rhondda

    Hi Tania. I meant to nominate some blogs for these categories. It was so hard to decide on the best but I will vote. Can you believe that you didn’t blog at all this time last year? By the way the Web2.0 program was a SLAV initiative and we asked the SLV to help us run it. Glad that both you and Sasha have survived your ordeals.

  8. I know what you mean, Rhonda. I had to check my facts when I realised that we only started the Web 2.0 program middle of the year. I know that it’s a SLAV initiative. I started going through the categories to vote, but only covered a few categories. Some of the blogs are new to me, and there is so much to read. Thanks for your well wishes. I twittered your censorship blog post because I think it’s important and begs discussion.

  9. Pingback: Posts about Web 2.0 as of December 16, 2008 | The Lessnau Lounge

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