What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Photo courtesy of phillipsandwich on Flickr.

I don’t usually make New Year resolutions but I’m considering it. Resolutions pertaining to my role as an educator.

I’ve been spending a enormous amount of my personal time online – either reading, commenting, writing, on Flickr, Twitter, nings, my own 3 blogs, wikis (both maintaining my own and following others), a ridiculous number of groups, and trying to keep up with some of the obscenely long list of subscriptions in my Google Reader. This exercise has been the result of me jumping in, having a go, experimenting to feel for potential.

Next year is hopefully going to be different. I’d like to have more control so that I don’t feel as if I’m drowning, be more discerning and selective so that I’m not as tired or overwhelmed, and always ask ‘why am I doing this?’ and ‘is this adding value to the educational experience’.

Is this a realistic promise? I’m not sure at this point. Although I’ve really pulled back during these holidays, and I feel the benefits of this in terms of creating some headspace, I’ve also recently added Edublog winners’ urls to my rss feed. I’ve talked about not restarting a 365 photo challenge in 2010 but then joined the group EdTech 365/2010.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to require discipline and determination.

In terms of integrating technology into teaching and learning, I’m not going to try to change the way people think or behave. Did I really think I could change the way things operate in my school? If I did, then I was deluded. Do I think I can make a difference? You bet I do, otherwise there would be no point in me being there, or anyone else for that matter. But the difference will be in a very small way with one or two people. My resolution will be to stop spreading myself thin while my head is swivelling 360 degrees in case I miss something, and settle on less but with more depth and lots of evaluation.

I’ll make it clearer that I’m not advocating technology for its own sake, that it’s not necessarily always the best platform and, as Maria and I discovered when we taught year 7 English within a ning, it requires many more hours of teaching support and good plain discussion, and even some old-fashioned, hands-on activities, in order to make it meaningful and balanced. Our ning was never about technology, it was about connection and interaction.

On an emotional level – and I’m not sure how I’m going to do this, but it’s worth a try – I hope to take things less personally (that’ll be a first), care less about the details of things, take up fewer battles, respect difference of opinion, and understand that not everyone wants to put as much in, and that’s okay.

For anyone who reads this blog, I wish you a rich and balanced year, with new inspiration and connections with people. Since I started operating within Web 2.0 platforms for my personal and professional learning, by far the most enriching benefits have been the personal connections with people from whom I’ve learned much and with whom I”ve shared even more.

Photos courtesy of VIRGOSAMARA. Book title translates as ‘With my own eyes”.

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8 Comments

Filed under 21st century learning, technology

8 responses to “What are your New Year’s resolutions?

  1. A Happy New Year to you Tania. I know exactly what you mean about spreading yourself too thinly. I sometimes feel as if I’m drowning in information – although it’s usually self-inflicted! When I have such a backload of blog reading to do why on earth would I add more to my feedly account? Why am I bookmarking so much in delicious or diigo – a person can only use so many websites or programs! 🙂

    Here’s to a more balanced 2010 – if we have the willpower!

    • Thankyou, Pam, and a Happy New Year to you too! I’m glad I’m not the only one who goes overboard – not that I thought I was, but it’s good to hear your story. Here’s to balance! Btw, your class blogs are inspiring! I hope to be able to do the same soon.

  2. Kim

    Hi Tania

    The spooky Twilight Zone music was playing in my head as I read your post…you could have written it for me too!! Amazing that so much of what you have written really resonates with me…glad to know I’m not on my own with my challenges!

    I’m thinking that in 2010 my mantra might be “meaningful, manageable” so I can maintain some kind of balance (which has been and always will be a challenge of mine!).

    I wish you luck in your educational resolutions and look forward to hearing of your progress..

    Kim 🙂

    • Meaningful and manageable sounds like a good mantra. Let’s try it. We can check in with each other.

      Thanks for your wishes, Kim, and I wish you the same.

  3. Happy New Year, Tania. I have already stopped trying to change the world. By focusing on myself and my kids, I’m a much happier, more productive person. Choose your battles! Good luck to you….

  4. That sounds like a good idea, Susan. You are wise. I also wish you a very happy new year!

  5. jennylu

    All of this sounds like very sensible advice Tania- advice I probably should be following! We are only human after all and as far as I can tell, there are still only 24 hours in each day : )
    I’ve made a determined effort to shut the computer lid down more frequently and devote more time to the people I love; I think it’s making a difference – I hope so anyway.

    • Jenny, I think we’re doing pretty well balancing this break, don’t you? And I also need the thinking time. You must be getting very excited about your big trip! Have a wonderful time; I’ll keep up with you online.

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