This annual blog post is my opportunity to reflect on the calendar year gone by and thank everyone in my PLN who has supported me along the way. My blog and social media platforms allow me to connect, learn and grow with fellow educators. The benefits of doing so have been profound and, more so than ever, 2019 has been a year that I have taken full advantage. I have definitely had a few setbacks and disappointments this year, but they’re all part of the journey. Overall, I have an awful lot to be thankful for. The overwhelming feeling of gratitude is stronger than ever.
Back in April, Mr. Hill’s Musings was awarded the UK Blog Award for Education. I’m thrilled, humbled and truly honoured. My blog has always benefited me as a platform for reflecting, sharing and learning. Nobody will every benefit from it more than I do. Having said that, it means a lot to know that it resonates with others and offers some value. I’m also honoured to have been nominated with some of my heroes in education and blogs that I love. Even now, months later, I still don’t have the words to express how grateful I am for the award. It has given me the confidence to pursue other exciting projects. Watch this space!
Another dream came true this year as I was invited to the Google offices in Sydney for the Innovator Academy. I became a Google for Education Certified Innovator. This is a title that I carry with great pride because I have joined a strong community of inspiring educators. Being accepted from the highly competitive application process recognises my ability to innovate and advocate within the field of education. Again, this is a huge honour. You can read more about my Academy experience here. It was the birthplace of my Innovator Project, Media By Example.
Media By Example is the answer to my Google Innovator application question: how might we guide students to use social media positively and responsibly? At the Academy, I decided to create a platform that would develop young digital leaders by first developing teachers and their ability to leverage social media. After a slow start overthinking the name and branding, Media By Example is now an active website and has a presence on Twitter. Also, the YouTube channel is set up and ready to go. Please take a look around to see what has been launched so far. Most excitingly, I have a collaboration with Jennifer Casa-Todd in the works. Don’t miss it! You can support Media By Example by subscribing on YouTube and following on Twitter. I have an exciting vision for Media By Example and I look forward to making it a reality. Lots of exciting content to come in 2020!
This year, I have been fortunate enough to meet many people from my PLN in person. It is always a special moment when a strong online connection becomes an offline friend. This has happened to me many times in 2019 and these really are my standout memories of the year. My PLN is more than just a number. It’s made up of supportive, inspiring cheerleaders in education. I’m grateful for every one of you and I look forward to more offline gatherings!
2019 has been absolutely phenomenal for me. At the end of my career, I might look back on it as a highlight. Then again, I don’t want to believe that. I prefer to think of 2019 as an amazing foundation laid for an even better 2020! After a much-needed break over Christmas, I’ll be ready to make it happen.
If you appreciate my blog and would like to pass on a small Christmas gift, I am still on a mission to give more underprivileged children in Tanzania the gift of education. Please consider offering a donation, however small, to my Room to Read page. It will only take a minute. I appreciate it very much!
These photos from our school pantomime have nothing to do with any of this blog post. I just thought you might enjoy them. I wish you all a happy Christmas and all the very best for the new year. As always, thank you.