Firstly, this year I completed my Level 1 and 2 Google Educator Certificates. Both of these required me to spend quite a few hours working through modules based on the Google Apps for Education Suite and then pass a series of exam like questions and complete a number of skills-based scenario activities.
My passion for the Google Apps for Education suite stems from my work at my previous school where I was selected as a 'Google Guide' in 2012. During this time I attended a Google Boot Camp facilitated by Sydney Catholic Schools where a group of us learnt the basics of how to use each tool so we could help to help staff to implement them when the tools were rolled out to all staff. After this, I spent a lot of time doing my own investigation into how the tools can be used in my classroom by completing the Sydney Catholic Schools Web 2.0 course and attending (and also presenting at) the 2014 and 2015 Sydney GAFE Summits.
Although my current school does not explicitly use the Google Apps for Education suite, I have continued to use the tools in my classroom, sharing my knowledge with staff and students. In a recent lesson with my Year 12 students, one girl said 'I didn't even know about Google Drive at the beginning of the year, now it's my life!'.
In September of this year I received an email to say that I have been included on the 'Flipped Learning Global Initiatives Top 100' educators leading flipped learning worldwide. This inclusion has stemmed from the traction that my YouTube channel is gaining with biology teachers and students across New South Wales and the sharing of my experiences on social media, at conferences and also in print.
Along with this, I have been approached by ClickView to host my Biology videos on their server so that they are easily accessible by schools around NSW and Australia. I am still in the process of uploading my videos ready to launch, but I am getting there!
Last month I also found out I was included on 'The Educator' magazine's 2016 Hot List. Again, this is something that shocked me and also made me extremely proud of the things that I am doing both in and out of the classroom. My inclusion on this list was put down to my goal of changing the face of Science education to one that allows students to develop STEM skills by exploring and inquiry-based learning as well as my work in flipped learning and my contribution to #aussieED.
When the hard copy of the magazine arrived last week it was very exciting to see my photo on the front cover as well as being only one of few practicing teachers amongst a list of executive members and principals.
Now that 2016 is coming to a close, it is time for me to look forward to 2017 and start to plan on a new set of goals - the first of which is to complete my Masters (only 2 subjects left after I finish the 2 I am currently enrolled in - YAY!).