Sunday, December 29, 2013

My 2013 in Review

I don't normally reflect on the end of the year, but this year has been different for me. So I guess, in a way, taking a different approach to the end of the year by reflecting on it seems fitting.

During the course of 2013, I became more and more involved in social media for professional purposes. I threw myself into actively participating in Twitter chats with other librarians, teachers and ed tech specialists. These chats showed me how far behind I was regarding trends in education and technology. These conversations also allowed me to I develop more professional connections, with a few of them turning into friendships. In return, the new connections opened many doors for me, and I tried as much as possible to "pay it forward" by sharing with others when possible.

Some of the highlights from developing better connections with other educators include:

  • Moving outside my comfort zone to embrace new technologies and opportunities
  • Participating in my first EdCamp - an experience I'll never forget and look forward to attending more EdCamps in 2014
  • Created an online portfolio to share my projects and professional development with others
  • Started blogging (any introvert understands how difficult it can be to share your inner thoughts)
  • Taking control of my professional development through my PLN and Webinars 
  • Implementing flipped instruction in the library and presenting on it for librarians in my school district
  • Becoming a member of the #virtualbookclub
  • Became a Discovery Education Network Star!
I'm certainly not the only one who's benefited from my interactions with others on social media. My students have also benefited because they had the opportunity to experience new things. For example, we participated in International Dot Day this year. Students have also been exposed to coding, thanks to the Hour of Code. Older students have been creating book trailers for younger students at my school to encourage them to read more. None of these events and projects would have been possible without the connections I made with others in my PLN.

For the upcoming year, I haven't really planned much of it, other than devoting time to professional development opportunities as a new DEN Star and continuing to discover new ways to motivate and engage students. Oh, and more sharing! 

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