Monday, December 31, 2007

One door closes..... and another opens!

Today marks the change in career for Ddraig Goch. (31st December is my last day working for my LEA - yup I even have my P45!!)
It was a very strange experience to be leaving a job (vocation) that one has tried your best at for 19 years...... but it definitely felt like the right time to change.
It is really only in the past 2 years that my horizons have been broadened. I well remember when I began to podcast myself, before introducing it to my pupils, that I left a comment on Ewan McIntosh's EduBlog asking whether there was anyone in my locality doing the same stuff. Ewan's reply that you will find people in many locations interested in the same ideas, started me on a journey that has not yet stopped..... yet.
Many have said that collaborations within the edublogger community have given them the best CPD ( Continuous Professional Development) they have ever had, are not wrong...... the chance to sound ideas out with colleagues on a global scale is truly liberating..... plus you get to meet ( in my case 99% virtually) such a wonderful group of teachers and administrators who are always pushing the boundaries of what the technology can achieve.
I for one certainly didn't expect to be meeting and collaborating with the edublogger community on such a scale when I started..... and I have certainly met more educators in the past 18 months than during the rest of my career.... and they are everywhere from right here in the UK to USA, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Shanghai..... the list goes on.
There have been some strange experiences such as taking part in Educational 'Speed Dating sessions with teachers in the US and New Zealand, and taking part virtually in conference presentations for friends.... indeed I was able on a few occasions to bring those same friends into my presentations for teachers here in Wales. I was asked by another friend, to be a peer assessor for her strand of the K12 Online 2007 UnConference, which was a huge honour.
All of this networking does begin to take over from the daily tasks of teaching, it is very seductive and draws you in - very like the debate over 'how hooked we are to social networking?' ( today I received requests to collaborate with people in both LinkedIn and Pownce).
When the opportunity came along to be more involved in online activities with the International Baccalaureate, it was time for me to weigh up, whether to continue with more of the same or to take that step into the unknown, and face a new challenge...... it was time for change.
I looked recently at the 'Did You Know?' series of presentations started by Karl Fisch, where he looks at the fact that our 7 and 8 year olds are being prepared for a future where the jobs they will do, haven't been invented yet..... there are educators all around the globe who have been involved in Web 2.0 projects who are also at this time considering what the future is for themselves.... changing career or just changing roles?..... many looking at jobs which probably 2 or 3 years ago didn't the end you just have to go with your gut feeling.... I think that 99% of the time your first reaction is the right one.
I fully intend to stay fully involved in the Web2.0 edublogger community, looking at new ways for integrating the tools into learning, but from a slightly different perspective, that of looking for ways to enhance the Professional Development of teachers..... yo don't get rid of this Welshman that easily.
I am also really looking forward to meeting many UK colleagues at the TeachMeet08 on Friday January 11th at the BETT Show in Olympia, London ( for those not lucky enough to be there look out for a live stream either in FlashMeeting or possibly UStream.TV .......)


Moturoa said...

We are looking forward to seeing how it all pans out for 2008.

It is a brave step you are taking but wonderful to have new opportunities and challenges.

Happy New Year for New Zealand.

Miguel said...

Go get 'em, Paul...wishing you well in 2008 and beyond!

Miguel Guhlin
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