Saturday, July 26, 2008

Starting again: 21 Days to Reflect, Write and Plan

I am surprised to find the last blog post I wrote was nearly 4 weeks ago! Thank you loyal readers if you are still with me. Greetings to new readers who may have stumbled onto my blog more recently. I am currently on summer break from Qatar Academy and have spent much of the past 5 weeks traveling from the Middle East to Hong Kong, various parts of the USA and now my 'home-town' Australia. Two weeks ago I finally reached Ozzie soil feeling totally exhausted and a little burnt out by the intensity of my commitments at NECC in San Antonio and also by the Flat Classroom workshops co-run with Vicki Davis in St Louis. However, despite needing some down time and family catch-up time I am excited and exhilarated by what has happened in the past year and what is going to happen in the next 12 months!

This afternoon, after some serious walking, beach-going and watching numerous surfers ride the waves here in Coolangatta (on the Gold Coast in Australia) I have started to get my head around what I want to do before officially starting work again in Qatar. In fact, as it turns out, I have exactly 21 days of 'holiday' left in which to reflect, write and plan. So here is my list so far of what I want to achieve, during the down-time of each day, while family also catch up on their own down-time activities. By the way, this is the view I am looking at right now as I blog, from the 10th floor apartment......we are feeling very lucky to be here in such a wonderful country.

Back to the list.......
  1. Reflections on NECC 2008 - I have read what others have written and want to add my 2 cents as well this week in terms of highlights and moving forward.
  2. Reflections and sharing of our amazing Flat Classrooms workshops in St Louis - such a special time.
  3. I want to finish the 'Sharing my Classroom' series I started eg Sharing my Classroom Grade 7, to include Grade 8, 9 and 10.
  4. Reflections on our first year in Qatar and how Qatar Academy has moved forward, moving into where we are going in the next 12 months with educational technology.
  5. Learn to use my MacBook! I have carried this laptop all around the world and still cannot use the generic applications to my advantage. My daughter also has a MacBook...time for some serious mother and daughter team work here!
  6. Learn to use my new mobile phone. I bought a Nokia N82 in Hong Kong, and after my daughter finally worked out how to change it from Chinese to English I am starting to get the hang of it.....still thinking I should have bought an iPhone, but am up for the challenge of getting to know it better.
  7. Start to write more seriously about our Flat Classroom experience - we have plans to publish, more later!
  8. Plan for Flat Classroom Project 2008! Yes, we want to invite educators around the world to apply by September, but some serious work needs to be done on setting this up first.
  9. Plan for the new year in Qatar - so much to do!
  10. Practice my new ukulele. Did I mention I have joined a ukulele band in Qatar? What a hoot! So, here on the Gold Coast I went to the Tweed Heads music shop and bought a new ukulele...a good sounding Hawaiian model. Our instructor emailed a website where we can play along and practice during the holiday.
  11. Plan for our Flat Classrooms Workshop and Student Summit in January 2009 - so exciting! and lots to do to get this off the ground!
So, having broken my 'bloggers block' I am expecting the next 21 days will be a cognitive adventure.....maybe you will share it with me?

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etalbert said...

Great to read your blog again!
R & R is a must! I will follow your coming reflections with interest.

Hope the Flat Classroom project has an Aussie flavour over the coming year.

I am keen to read what you have to say about NECC08, the posts so far, have been illuminating for me.


Julie Lindsay said...

Hi Elaine
Thanks for dropping by. Yes, I have no doubt the Flat Classroom will include Aussies. Looking forward to getting it started again.

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