It’s that time of year when many of the bloggers write their “Reflection of the Year” pieces and make new year resolutions and plans. Of course, I’m no different although my Reflections vs Resolutions usually look something like this:
I started 2013 off as I always do with dreams and plans of great ambitions and then consistently failed to achieve most of them. However, along the way, I have met many people in person or online who have placed nuggets of gold along my way. They have opened my eyes to possibilities and set me off on different and more exciting journey for 2014.
- Who wants to just lose weight when they can go on a lifestyle change to paleo?
- Who wants to knit more when they can learn a new skill like crochet?
- Who wants to vow to exercise more and spend less when they can give up gym membership altogether and replace with a FitBit? (I rolled up 2 resolutions there for the loss of one – win, win)
- Who wants to watch her set of Rick Steve’s boxed set of UK, Scotland, Wales and Ireland DVDs ad nauseum while moaning to her husband “we never go anywhere’ and then actually go there (and considered hiding out in the Isle of Skye so she couldn’t be found to be returned to Melbourne)?
Despite being the worst year of turmoil in my career to date because of being in a state of constant restructure (3 restructures in 18 months through 2 fixed term contracts) at least my personal life has been grounding and given me hope. At a time when I was beginning to doubt myself and thought leaving Learning and Development to try something completely different for a new career change, my connections and networks outside of my 9 to 5 work have given me optimism and hope. And yes, even possibilities of collaborative partnerships in 2014.
They have breathed life back into me.
But the things I am most proud of achieving this year are:
- Meeting my Personal Learning Network face to face and establishing new connections and partnerships here and overseas
- Establishing the Meet up group called Third Place for people in the fields of learning, development and performance to meet and network in a social environment
- Keeping up writing in my blog (and the subsequent transfer to this self-hosted WordPress site)
- Awarded the International Vocational Service Leadership Award from Rotary International
- Crossed off “Attend Military Tattoo at Edinburgh” and “Visit Royal Naval Historical Shipyard at Portsmouth” off my Bucket List
- I had to do something to get me out of my comfort zone and feel the fear of something like a high ropes course so I did tree-surfing
I also was quite happy that I kept up the “What Did I Learn” blog posts every month which summarised what I did every month to maintain and develop myself personally and professionally. I will continue to do these over 2014 as they provide a great reference point and recap of what I experienced.
Here they are in a nutshell…
What I Learned in:
- MOOCs – some were fantastic (ETMOOC) and some were “meh” (EDCMOOC – don’t shoot me for this for some reason people raved about this MOOC. What I did enjoy were the videos which since then, have been shared, used and reused many times over. I don’t know why people argue over MOOCs and how ineffective they are if people drop out. I didn’t complete this MOOC but I have used its videos and references in my work many times. I have shared the videos internally on Yammer and created conversations around them. So even though I didn’t complete this MOOC in its entirety as set out in the format recommended by the lecturers, I did receive a lot of personal and professional benefit out of it because the videos made me think about the content. I would consider this a successful MOOC. It was my own “MOOC Free Style”.
- Told my story in True Stories of Openness at @cogdog blog which again, I have since used many times to explain the value of Twitter and how it’s made me connect with my networks
- Dropped out of another MOOC
- I sadly resigned from Rotary after many years of community service
- Got my first foreign language tweet… en Francais!
- Met more people from my Twitter network in person
- Yammer fast becomes my tool of choice for communicating and networking with others in my organisation but rapidly noticing that our own Learning and Development department still not using it for their own purposes – or for learning programs.
- I am lazy about exercise and fitness
- In my own time sought people who were subject experts to be guest presenters on various topics on digital literacy to be run internally in our organisation but then there was an organisational restructure that changed everything, put me into another role and made me utterly miserable so I became silent and didn’t share it. I’m sure it will come in useful in the future.
- Bitched about mandatory compliance training as you do
- May & June (laziness overcame me)
- Inspired by the Virtual Learning Show through the Learning and Performance Institute UK and ponder how we could do one internally using our Webex licences which then feeds into my cMOOC idea and promptly goes…. nowhere
- Experimented with Augment Reality for about 10 minutes
- Raided my husband’s pristine condition, boxed 80’s toys collection to see what I can re-function as part of a Maker cMOOC. He nearly gets a heart attack and I….dropout.
- Awarded with the International Vocational Service Leadership Award from Rotary International
- July – zip I was on holidays in the UK, Scotland, Wales and Ireland – posts come from my personal Ramblings blog and are anything BUT learning related.
- Met my PLN in London! Happy days!
- People still question what’s the point of sharing?
- Founded the Meetup Group Third Place in an effort to create a group where we can talk, share, collaborate freely in a social environment. The name of the group comes from a serendipitous online connection with Paul Signorelli (@trainersleaders) from San Francisco on a Learnchat TweetChat one day who suggests I read Ray Oldenburg’s book called The Great Good Place. That was what I needed. Within 30 minutes, I had a name of my group and the rest, as they say, is history.
- Keep meeting more of my PLN, this time @Tanya Lau who had been providing many comments on my blog that made me think and reason. It was a real highlight to meet Tanya because she commented on my blog many times and we undertook the Exploring Personal Learning Networks cMOOC – which I’m happy to report that I DID NOT drop out.
- Love to give A-Ha Moments to people
- Website gets serious. I learned more about self hosting WordPress sites this month than any other….
- People still don’t get social
- Pitching Organisational Learning Networks to CEO’s – it isn’t as easy as I thought...
- Still complained about boring online compliance training but this time made a video about my experience, “A Typical Response for Mandatory Compliance Training” -and get over 200 views!?
Seeing it all laid out here I realise that it’s been a blockbuster year. What does 2014 hold? Who knows – but I can’t wait for it to begin…
I wish you all peace and prosperity in the new year. Stay safe over the holidays and all the best in season’s greetings!