This time of year, the blog posts practically write themselves. Next week, I’ll have to put together a Top Ten list or two, but this week will be all about the future. I’m not, by my nature, a retrospective person. I don’t enjoy reading history books much and I rarely even glance in my rearview mirror while driving. I’m a guy who likes Mondays more than Fridays because of the limitless opportunities that lie in the week ahead. Call it blind optimism or just a sunny outlook, but I am the ultimate morning person. The day always looks best by the light of dawn, and that’s how I prefer to view the world. I know… it’s sick.
And so, in this spirit of forward-thinking and optimism, here are the Future Five that I plan to do in 2011.
#1: Implement WordPress ePortfolios
The incredibly awesome Sam Morris introduced me to the idea (while he helped me install WP as our school’s web platform last summer) of students blogs as electronic portfolios, showcasing their work and creating conversations leading to reflection and growth. With his school’s Discovery Blogs as a model, I plan to roll out blogs for every student on my hallway as they arrive in July. Staff members will teach students how to use them (working in some Internet safety lessons along the way) and will use them for assessment and student-led conferences. Within five years, I hope to make this a school-wide initiative. The potential is amazing!
#2: Improve traffic to Scripted Spontaneity
I’ve already seen a jump in visitors since I adopted the soon-to-be-patented Bill Ferriter method. More visitors means my voice is heard by more and I get more push-back from commenters. It helps me to better express myself and craft new ideas for self-improvement and professional development. This is why I love my PLN! How do I get there? By posting regularly (twice weekly) and varying the length, format, and topic of my posts.
#3: Interact with Other Blogs More
This is one that I’ve already begun to work toward. It is so important to engage the blogosphere, both personally and professionally. I find that the conversations that arise from blog comments on various education blogs can have as powerful an effect on me as item #2 above. By setting aside a few minutes twice a week, I can become a more generous member of my PLN and return the favor that so many Scripted Spontaneity readers have made to me.
#4: Get Published in a Professional Journal
I’ve spent several months mulling over the publication requirements for the professional magazines of several organizations to which I belong. I have come to realize that no matter how successful #1 is, I will do much more to heighten my professional reputation and broaden my horizons by having my writing and ideas appear in print. To this end, I plan to submit several manuscripts over the first half of the year. I won’t give up until my name appears on a glossy page.
#5: Fully Adopt the 5E Model for my Science Lessons
The 5E model has been around for many years, and doesn’t really represent anything earth-shattering. But, its constructivist structure is powerful and engaging for students. I have made use of it sporadically in the past, but I plan to build every unit around this cycle that includes Exploration, Explanation, and Evaluation. It doesn’t just teach science content, but also models the scientific method for students, which is a critical piece of 21st century instruction.
So, there it is: my plan for 2011. Think I’m crazy? Have some better ideas? Feel free to share.