Happy New Year to you all and welcome to my waffling website/blog. This waffle probably should have happened last week, but I wanted to write about life before broadband – thanks to everyone who read that – it got a huge amount of hits and comments on twitter etc. This week is the first of a two part waffle – the first looking at whether or not I have achieved my targets I set myself at the beginning of 2015 and the second to set some targets for 2016 – if you like, new year resolutions without mentioning the word diet! So did I succeed or was I a complete failure in 2015 – let’s get a waffling…
If you want to read the target setting waffle you can find it here, although I will summarise in this waffle so you can get a general idea of the targets. I must remind myself to stay positive during the reflection stage, mainly because I have a tendency to be too harsh on myself. Can you tell I am avoiding starting this – well enough waffle, let’s do it!
Technology and Teaching – The main focus of this target was to attain my CMALT award and to integrate more technology into my teaching. Well, I’ve had some success with this. My portfolio for CMALT was submitted and failed…positive thoughts, positive thoughts. I had to query some of the feedback but I have subsequently resubmitted this before Christmas, so I think you can say that although I don’t know whether I have gained the award I have completed the submission part of the target. It is always difficult when you think you have a strength in something but really, in the larger scheme of things, it is not seen as a strength at all. Before starting in higher education I was a big fish in a small pond and now, in academia, I am a VERY SMALL fish in a VERY LARGE pond – well the latter is more like an ocean. With all things in life I think that if you continue to do your best and get knocked back, there must come a time that you just have to think this is not for me. I enjoy using technology, but eventually I might have to accept that I am not as good as it as I originally thought. If I fail the CMALT this will definitely be a turning point for me. As for using more technology in teaching – well I am probably using about the same, but I have started to provide some staff development session about how I use technology to support my teaching. The first one went well and I had some good feedback from it, so hopefully these will continue in the future. I think I’ll rate this target as almost completed!
Be research active – This target has been going on for some time now. I’ve been really proactive this year, attending research seminars at work and participating in some training sessions and research groups. I’ve also managed to become part of a research group within the faculty! Although my role with this is to sort the webpage out, I still hope that it is a foot in the door for the whole research arena. One very positive point is that after a rather ‘difficult’ experience with peer reviews, I have managed to work hard on some research I did and have actually managed to get it approved for publication within a journal! Yeah!!!! This is provided me with a huge amount of confidence and thank you to everyone who kept me going with this one, despite me frequently nearly giving up – this includes the editor of the journal. I’m classing this target as achieved and, due to the confidence it has given me, I think I am definitely going to continue research more this year. I have some interesting ideas in the depths of my mind, once I have a break from teaching and marking again, these are definitely going to surface once more.
Introduce gamification to my site – Done! Not happy with Captain Up, I actually spent the majority of summer creating open badges and levels for my site as well as the monthly win a real life badge and £5.00 Amazon Gift voucher competition! The latter has had some success throughout the autumn term last year, although there has been little or no interest in the open badges on the site. I am trying to encourage people to become more involved in order to create some form of a ‘waffling community’ although I am thinking that I don’t really offer anything as an incentive for them to join or participate in. I have been thinking about this a lot and have some plans for next year, although I am wary of setting this as a target since it is dependent on others rather than the work I do myself. As for the original target….done….I’m on a roll!
YouTube plus radio show! -I actually managed to create and broadcast sixty episode of Wilson Waffling Live! It has gone through some changes and it is currently in a state of flux. Although it gets about twenty views on Youtube and two regular viewers when it goes live, I’m not sure if it really is what people want to support their learning or even entertainment. When I did my first ever Youtube videos, I got to sixty of them before they stopped, and I am conscious that I don’t want this to happen again. Whether this means less shows or not live shows, I’m not sure but I’m not giving up with my Youtube shows – I will return! As for the radio…yeah! I have been broadcasting on a Tuesday evening, 20:00 to 21:30 for the past couple of months. I really enjoy my radio show and although sadly the station is not broadcasting at the moment, I am really hoping that it becomes a regular feature of my week. Although not everything with this target is going well…I do think I achieved it, so another tick here!
Nearly there, sorry this is a long one!
Minecraft adventures! – Oh dear…I mentioned when I set this target that it was an area of my community which I was neglecting and I am sad to say that this has continued throughout the year. I have set up new servers and even produced speed build videos although the community and my involvement with it is still somewhat limited. I can’t seem to hit the nail on the head with this one. I’m trying to hit a lot, but I just keep missing. I have definitely failed with this target and will have to rethink this one, just the same as the live show one. I think forming a community with Minecraft is important and that is probably what I need to concentrate on next year. I also think I need to decide what is my audience, which might help with the creation of the community. Although I don’t like ending on a negative, this is definitely a failed target.
I’ve tried to be as honest as I can be with my responses to these targets. I know I have achieved some of these my overall grade would have to be…’could do better’. Next year, some of these targets are definitely going to reappear and I am going to duplicate some of them on my personal/gaming site as well so that I am not setting myself too many things to achieve. One area which I do need to develop is the idea of marketing and instead of focusing on outcome maybe start to focus on procedures and processes. Instead of thinking a would like a community on this site, consider why people would want to join the site and what they get from it. In doing this I might actually be able to set some targets which I can actually complete. Next week’s waffle will be the my targets for 2016, so don’t forget to come back – it will definitely be worth a read/listen!
I look forward to hearing your comments and ideas, please add them in the comments below or send them to me via Twitter(@iwilsonysj), Facebook, Google+ or email.
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Have fun and I’ll catch you later