When I got up this morning and went out to defrost the car to drive for my morning coffee and blog writing session, the sun was shining, the air was cold but crisp, frost covered the cars and the Minster bells were ringing in the background. For a moment, I actually thought it was Christmas day again! but then I suddenly realised that it was targeting setting day…oh no. As I drove and settled down in my usual seat to start typing I titled this waffle the same as the thoughts which were in my mind…so, Let’s do this and be brave and confident about the year ahead.
I was reading a poster in one of the teaching rooms, late on a Friday evening that stated something along the lines of – “you will regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did”. Although I sometimes feel that setting myself targets every year is like setting myself up to fail, I do recognise that they are an important way of progressing and maybe engaging with new knowledge and maybe even people. As I set my targets for the year I need to remember two things, 1) set targets that you don’t need anyone else to complete and 2) keep them focused and realistic. Even though I recognise both of these, I think I will probably go against the first point within the first couple of targets! I recognise that I am a bit of a loner – I was going to add ‘at times’, but I recognise that it is probably the majority of the time. Often the projects I try to achieve are focused on myself which I think is sometimes, not the best way to move forward. This year, might be the year to change this.
If you would prefer a quick summary of my targets then here they are in a list.
Build a communciating, collaborating, connected community on Wilson Waffling.
Progress with; current research projects, published book idea and own eBook.
Further develop activities and participation on Minecraft Server
Broadcast additional radio shows
Waffling Website – I am already in a regularly blogging/waffling routine. I’ve started to post archived waffles throughout the week in the hope of increasing the number of hits on the site. To set myself more hits on the sites would be foolish – learnt that the hard way – but I think I need to look at increasing the amount of content and forming some sort of a routine with this. One area of the website that is still being underused, in my opinion, are the forums and the gamification opportunities. These are both areas I want to improve. I’m not planning on having a set number of people interacting with these, I just want them to be used. Communication is something that the internet makes easier, and with this communication comes the opportunity of new connections and possible collaborations. The plan is to reinvigorate the forums and open badges, getting some discussion going and hopefully forming a sense of community around the site. I know of several people I would really like to be involved with this community, my next task is to ‘entice’ them in…if you are reading this…you might be getting an email soon.
“That’s it! Well there is one more but I am putting it down here so that no-one sees it”
Research and book – Hopefully I will be able to share a published article soon on the site. This was one of my previous targets which I discussed last week. I mentioned in that waffle that this had given me some confidence in the area of research and, because of this, I’m definitely keen to complete more and maybe even get new research published. Working with the current third years on their subject specialism research assignment has definitely increased my motivation to achieve this and I have several ideas ready to burst into action once the 54 science feedback sheets have been completed and the 120 mathematics assignments marked and handed back. As well as engaging with this research I also want to try and get a couple of books either written or well on their way to being published. One will be a practical book, the topic of which is currently being discussed with publishers and the second, is going to be an ebook which I will hopefully write and publish for free, maybe even on Amazon as a download. To say that all of these will be finished would be a rather foolish target, since I know how slow things can progress, but to say that definite progress will have been made and quantify this in the review session next year I think is acceptable.
Wilson Waffling Live – There is that well known saying – “there is no ‘i’ in team”. I understand the purpose of this quote, but I sometimes feel that I am a team of one, which is me. I mentioned earlier that I am a loner and I tend to work on things by myself. I’m not the sort of person who likes to rely on others (a possible personality flaw) and understand that people may not be able to, or even want to, commit to things as much as I can, or do. This means that I am usually in front of the camera by myself when it comes to Wilson Waffling Live. I really enjoy doing the live shows but I think it, yet again, needs to be reinvented to provide more value and give it more validity. Filming it live is always fun, but I am wondering whether this needs to be changed, as well as removing the reliance on participation that the current format requires. Some segments work well – well Tweet of the Week does! The rest is up for discussion. The way forward with this I think is to try and get some co-hosts to chat to in the actual shows focusing on articles or key topics from the web/news. This is what happens on the TwitTV shows, which was the original inspiration for Wilson Waffling Live. If these discussions actually manifest themselves then they would probably have to be pre-recorded and then edited together later, which would certainly develop my editing skills! Maybe it will end up being a live show of the recording and then the Youtube version later. As you can see I am still in a state of flux with this. I saw last night that there was an old tweet relating to Wilson Waffling Live Episode 30 where I looked back at the old shows. I’m currently up to episode 60 and I am keen to reach the one hundred mark, so this is not going away – I’ve had a break over the Christmas period but Wilson Waffling Maybe Live will return either in its current form or something different – maybe even accompanied by a podcast? If you are interested in getting involved then let me know.
Minecraft – Okay – I have this Minecraft server that hardly anyone plays on. Well really one person plays on it (not me) and I don’t have one server I actually have four! I’m not a great player of Minecraft, I think I am more of a provider…i.e. here is a server, come and play on it. I’ve uploaded some speed build videos and even advertised the servers but I think they lack purpose and content. I did once put a build topic on the site and this worked well so I am going to try and build the community over this year. The SkyBlock server is almost ready to go and I have a server that I want to run regular games on. There is a creative server for the build projects and even a competition area. Starting and running a server without any real knowledge of Minecraft has been and continues to be, difficult, but I am going to strive to make this work. I’ve got planned a range activities, builds and competitions so hopefully I will be able to encourage some regular players to attend – if you are interested then you can sign up for the server at the website.
Radio – Some of you might be aware that I have a Tuesday night radio show on Radio YSJ (20:00 – 21:30 starting again on the 26th January!). I really enjoy this show and I am looking forward to starting it again. Because of the sheer enjoyment I get from presenting I am also going to try to do some additional shows during the week. These will be based on my usual cheesy pop music and then probably musicals. I’m in the process of getting everything together for this. Mixer – done, Radio software – done, hosting an licensing – being done. Once this is completed then I’ll be going live, so hopefully I will get a couple of listeners for the shows. I’m also trying to figure out how to record them so I can just play them as repeats in case you can’t listen to them live. Really do wish I was more technical minded!
That’s it! Well there is one more but I am putting it down here so that no-one sees it and I might get away with not doing it. I really need to increase my technical knowledge about sound production and radio etc, so I am looking to see if I can complete any courses, real or online, relating to this subject. Not even sure if these exist, but I really need some knowledge in this area at the moment.
If you want to see my own personal gaming/streaming targets then you can read them here
That’s quite a long waffle, but I hope it let’s you know my targets for the year in some detail. If you would like to get involved in any of them then please send me your comments and ideas, either by adding them in the comments below or sending them to me via Twitter(@iwilsonysj), Facebook, Google+ or email.
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Preamble I recently was asked to provide an international webinar for Cambridge University Press on how to encourage engagement during online digital learning sessions. I received some positive feedback from the organisers and attendees so Read more…
Although we are unsure about what the future will actually look like, it is assumed that it will be technologically rich. Authors such as Selwyn (2017) do elude to what education might include with respect to technology but include a caveat that environmental disasters could possibly prevent us from actually reaching it.