Reviewing 2011

Last year, I waited until 31st December to review my blogging year.

This year, I intend to review #SugSnips at that time, so I’ll make a critical review of my 2011 EduVel blog posts here and now, pre-Christmas.

First of all, I am 600+ views down on this time last year.

However, I suppose that’s not too bad because statistics show that this is the year’s 50th post, whereas last year I posted 78. I guess that another reason for the lower number of posts is that I’ve branched out and started writing two other fairly regular blogs:

Saturday Walks – http://saturdaywalks.wordpress.com/
I started this blog last December to separate the more personal aspects of my life from other areas. It was something I’d planned to do for many years and began with the idea of continuing the events John and I have shared since 1999 (cycle ride).

Nutritious, economical foodhttp://shoestringfoods.wordpress.com/
I started this in September following my increasing (renewed) interest in all things epicurean. It started as a blog to help folks become more confident in cooking cheap but nutritional food – instead of cheap, tasteless rubbish from supermarkets.

One main theme I’ve stuck with this year has been the #SugSnip challenge, which involved daily posts to Twitter, but as I will write about that next week, I’ll look at the eclectic range of other subjects I’ve written about this year.

I waited until last week  http://bit.ly/uevmxz to write about the work I’ve been doing for the last six months. It seemed unfair to do so earlier as I was working with so many other people on that prestigious piece of work.

In October http://bit.ly/tGyyz1 I reflected on the differing digital needs of individuals. I think that this will be a reoccurring theme throughout 2012, as social media websites continue to chop and change their provision, presumably to survive in an economic world that seems to have flat-lined.

Over summer https://eduvel.wordpress.com/2011/08/ I discussed screen-capture software and why Flickr didn’t have (still doesn’t have) a really good smart-phone App. Even now, I have to go to Photobox to print my Flickr pictures and to Picnik to edit them. Come on Yahoo! Flickr is brilliant, but it could be so much better.

I’ve also had grumps about things such as software updates (why so many, so often, so demanding of time?) and the vagueness of some social media terms and conditions. I dabbled with situational aware social media like FourSquare and Gowalla http://bit.ly/sPlMrb, became the mayor of eight places – and resigned! http://bit.ly/ozki08.

I re-found Wordle: http://bit.ly/rrSpzz

I learned a lot about Lego WeDo this year too http://bit.ly/sG6syh, helping to deliver sessions early on and then wondering how I could break into the junior school market with my new-found skills from then on. Anyone?

This year I’ve published several ‘guest posts’ too. Each one came from a dry call and each one has done what they said they would do – i.e. write something we both agreed upon for nothing more than a by-line notification. I’ve been happy to help, as it has enriched the diversity of posts from EduVel. http://bit.ly/vl6YBd (ignore first one – it’s by me!)

Work has continued to be erratic but very interesting. I’ve been to a few colleges to deliver training for staff: Blackburn, Newcastle under Lyme and Gloucestershire to name a few and at Kirklees College I was asked to deliver a session for foundation degree students studying childcare. By far the biggest piece of work was at Leeds College of Music, where I helped a great team of chums to develop a new VLE environment (mentioned earlier).

Going forward, I’m working with Jackie, Alison and Sally on a LSIS project, with TechDis and with RSC-SE – if it finally kicks off in 2012.

That was 2011 that was!

Merry Christmas everyone.

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300th #SugSnip

Earlier today, I posted my 300th consecutive #sugsnip (the first was published on January 1st 2011). Here’s what it said:

#sugsnip Barbed wire was patented by Joseph Glidden, following Michael Kelly’s earlier development, ‘thorny wire’ http://bitly.com/nAzt3z – and here’s a picture to go with it – http://bit.ly/n4OvXV

I most recently wrote about my #sugsnip challenge back in July http://bit.ly/p5JXP1 after I’d made the 200th daily posting to Twitter. Nothing much has changed.  I’ve posted several special weeks like ‘Materials’ and ‘Compare Words’, and I’ve managed to keep up to the eclectic demands of my subject matter.

I’ve also introduced an ‘Obituary 2011’ feature on Sunday’s too. Morbid I know – but it’s interesting to find out (remember) just who has died this year! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deaths_in_2011 is a great starting point for this sort of research. I’ve restricted my ‘findings’ to those people I have been aware of in my life, whether sportsmen or women or other types of celebrity. I’ve purposely avoided the more public deaths (Amy Winehouse, Osama Bin Laden etc.) and only hope that my publications (there have been some surprises) do not distress anyone.

There’s still along way to go (65 days unless I’m very mistaken) and there’s still time for a few ‘special’ weeks. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up to the need for constant research and regular checking that the posts have gone (from Hootsuite these days).

Has anyone started using this sort of short, sharp delivery of information/reminders with learners yet?

1996 – 2011

It occurred to me the other day that I should perhaps reflect upon my fifteen years of Internet familiarity and use. And then, this morning thanks to a Tweet by Sarah Horrigan, I came across this:
http://mashable.com/2011/09/09/internet-yesterday-today/

Spookily, the dates coincide with my own Internet usage.

I’d heard about the Internet for a couple of years but when, in August 1996, I travelled to Australia with workmate Stephen, I experienced it for the first time. Pat and Joe in Berowra (north of Sydney), Stephen’s close relatives, had an Internet connection and I tried and better tried to get a grip of what it was I was looking at. Yahoo! seemed to be Joe’s favourite site and because he ‘searched’ with it AND emailed with it, I was marginally confused about what it actually did.

All rights belong to https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1d/Altavista-logo.pngDetermined to find out, I used to spend every spare moment I had at work, on one of only two Internet-enabled machines available to Dewsbury College staff. Much of the rest of 1996 was spent looking at Yahoo! and other sites like Alta Vista and Excite.

I also enrolled on an html writing course and although I would never say I could code a full web-site, I learned enough to get by (as I still do).

My time on the college Internet-enabled machines was noticed and I eventually became involved with in-house staff development. I spread my burgeoning Internet skills amongst staff and over those early years, to evening classes, often populated by what we now call silver surfers.  So what else has happened over those fifteen years?

Well, an awful lot.

The college started to use email as a main means of communication (that took some explaining/training); the college (thanks to Becta funding and JANET) began to buy more computers that could be linked to the Internet; more and more sites then began to be blocked by the college, the Internet doubled in size each year (at least); other technologies thrived alongside the Internet (Flash etc.); Microsoft began to create usable tools like Word ’97 and PowerPoint; YouTube came along and blew us all away; MySpace and then Facebook came along; Twitter won the battle of micro-blogs (at the expense of my favourite Jaiku) and – eventually, colleagues began to ‘get’ the technology revolution.

It’s hard to imagine what the next fifteen years will bring.