Sometimes we need to let things go. Blogging and Twitter have been two things I pretty much have let go more and more since I left Cognition at the end of 2015. It is not that I don't see the value in it, other things have just taken up my time or become more important.
There is so much I have learnt from tweets and from other people's blogs, and I still do at times, and I realise that I consume much more today than I contribute. While I still find it hard to accept, I think it is a phase to go through - a bit like how parents move on from having nappy bags and toddler toys in the car as their children grow up. I always used to tell teachers different tools for different purposes and at different times, it's probably time that I stop beating myself up about not being everywhere all the time anymore.
I have also decided this weekend that I would let go of my Google Trainer certification though I had been so proud when I first gained it. But realistically I have held barely any training sessions, and I don't know that this will change any time soon, so why spend all weekend trying to pass all exams and create a resource to share? Instead I enjoyed the company of my family, even more important when the first is about to fly the coop.
I absolutely love my job at Waitangi, I am so grateful that I am allowed to follow my passions and shape the mahi we do here into what my team and I think it should look like. We have worked with more than 6500 students in 2017, and we hope that 2018 will bring us in contact with at least the same, if not more students. While I haven't been making much use of digital technology in my work with students over the last year, I hope this will change in the near future.
For part of last year I had been wondering about where exactly Museum Education fits in the wider New Zealand education system; I am now convinced that it fulfills more than one function. On the one hand, Museums are partners to schools that provide specialist knowledge to supplement learning at school. If facilitated well, Museum Education in itself can follow the future focused themes (personalising learning, rethinking learners' and teachers' roles, life-long learning, equity and diversity, develop learning capacity). In addition, Museums can also facilitated professional development for educators including but not limited to content related to their collections, I tried to share this at Ulearn 17 with my presentation, if you are interested, you can view it here.
There were representatives of several museums at Ulearn this year, a few of us were asked to give an EDtalk. I spoke on The place of museums in 21C learning and teaching.
Great learning for students means teachers need to have access to great learning themselves, too. We have hosted teacher PLD sessions here at Waitangi in 2017, have held some sessions for teachers ourselves, and on 31 January we will hold a collaborative webinar with CORE Education around planning a successful Treaty of Waitangi unit. This is a free webinar, please register at bit.ly/core-waitangi. We will also hold a webinar serious in collaboration with Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand in February - watch this space!
So while my priorities have changed a little, they may have changed less than I thought? After all I'm still trying to transform learning and teaching...