The news of my imminent departure from Cefn Fforest Primary School became official today when all pupils had the information in a termly newsletter.
So, after 19 years teaching in the same school I am branching out into pastures new - my role will be as an Online Workshop Coordinator for the International Baccalaureate, based at Cardiff Gate, north of Cardiff.
I am very much looking forward to the new challenge (who says you can't teach an old Dragon new tricks?? I almost understand how to use Web 2.0 tools!!!!)and also to keeping my contacts with all of the new developments in teaching and learning using new Web 2.0 and 3.0 tools.
I believe that my enthusiasm for using new technology and forging International links both combine very well in my new job - keeping up with new developments in Educational Technology tools and applications is in my job description.
It will also give me the chance to work more closely with teaching colleagues from IB Schools around the world who I have met virtually at online conferences, and in online collaborative projects, in addition to keeping in contact with my spreading Personal Learning Network.
I have to say a great big thank you in advance to Allanah King in New Zealand, it was purely chance which brought us and our 2 schools together in October 2006 - firstly as podcast buddies, then blogging partners and finally as Skype partners... I would like to think that Allanah, myself and both sets of pupils learned in the new way - together collaboratively both teachers and students, and that we have since become good friends - indeed my kids came running to me earlier this week saying "Miss King's online can we reply to her skype message?" , the answer was "Of course you can!!!" ( really no need to ask). Sadly in a few weeks time we will be sending Cuddly Kiwi our link toy back to New Zealand after his year long visit to Wales ( and he still has his voice - just about!). We will try to keep track of Tiny Ted, who we think is still in Alabama with April Chamberlain.
The web 2.0 community is one of the most welcoming and supportive that I have come across in 19 years in teaching - as for professional development - I have learned more in the past 2 years than in the previous 17 put together. The community is a 24 hour one in which any of us is never afraid to ask the 'dumb' question, or to spread good practice which immediately becomes global - I will go with the general feeling that it is becoming a truly 'Flat World' - Durff, the wrinkles are being smoothed out - I know that there is still huge inequality globally but it is shifting there is change ( it was interesting to hear Wes Fryer complain of more blocking of sites in US schools than in Communist China!), parts of the world previously silent are gaining a voice, through dedicated teachers and others ( Mediasnackers for one).
I am also hopeful that Cefn Fforest will continue to develop as an online community through the dedication and enthusiasm of my successor as IT Coordinator - we plan to get blogs up and running for all classes before I leave at the end of December ..... Ddraig-Goch coming to an online workshop near you?
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