The #PhysEd Awards 2014

PEawards2014I can remember the moment vividly.

I was standing at the top of Mount Buller in the Victorian Alpine region, during the Vic Inter-schools Snow sports Competition, waiting some of our kids to compete in their skier cross event and I took a peek at my phone messages.

One stood out, from Joey Feith (I don’t get the chance to talk to, or message, Joey nearly enough, but he’s one of those guys, when he messages, you read it.)

It said, “congrats buddy, you won best blog, send me a 1-min video speech.”

To say I was on top of the world is true in more ways than one.

I have to admit though, my first reaction was “there must be some kind of mistake!”  I was up against Andy Vasily, Nathan Horne and Ash Casey as a finalist, so how on earth could www.makingpefizz.com have won?

If I’m really honest, the shock of being nominated as a finalist was almost as memorable, I awoke one morning to a barrage of twitter messages, which is unusual for me!

Anyway, as I hopefully conveyed in my virtual acceptance speech below, I was, and remain, truly humbled and honoured for the site to have some acknowledgement from the #PhysEd community.

So how to repay this?

A tribute to others.

As I reflect on my year of blogging (and teaching), I came to the simple realisation, the same one I do often, which is this…

A huge part of any development and improvement I experience as a teacher, learner, blogger and as a person is down to the contribution and investment in me by other people.

I honestly believe this, and since connecting online (and in person) with a host of global, inspiring, smart and passionate educators I have been very lucky to be part of professional learning, conversations, projects and friendships that have helped move me forward in many ways.

Three of whom were nominated with me as finalists for the award.  In my opinion, I would have come a very proud 4th and here’s why.

 

Andy Vasily

vasily

I remember when I first found Andy’s blog www.pyppewithandy.com I was like, “this guy is INSANE!  It was like he had collected the worlds most valuable stories about teaching #PhysEd and started a website on this theme.  The only thing is, they are HIS experiences.  I couldn’t stop reading.

To the point where I sent an email off to him, thinking there would be an outside chance I may get a response.  Within 24 hours he had responded with words of thanks, encouragement and a little push to join the sharing bargain. I actually believe it was that return email that started www.makingpefizz.com

Fast forward 18 months, many conversations, emails, google hangouts and viber 2-ways.  there I am standing beside him, teaching PE together, to his classes, in China.  See what we got up to here.

Now if that doesn’t demonstrate the power of connection, I don’t know what does.

I learnt so much on that trip and continue to do so from Andy every day.

Thank you.

Andy was last year’s best blog winner and took out the top contributor award this year.

 

Nathan Horne

Nathan

Nathan is a #PhysEd genius. I genuinely mean that.  The way he thinks about hacking #PhysEd makes my brain hurt.  He also just happens to be a really great guy.

Often I’m asked to present workshops about IT integration in PhysEd and even after hours of prep I often feel a little underprepared. The reason is because I know about the kind of things going on in Nathan’s gym.  He has this amazing blend of IT knowledge and a deft touch for its application to PE in the most meaningful way, especially when it comes to inquiry learning.

If you think you are tech savvy, you need to connect with this guy and you’ll probably find there’s another level.

The most impressive thing is that he learns most of the stuff by himself simply by being a great problem finder/solver, huge amounts of tenacity and a desire to never stop trying to make things better.  And he is a perfectionist.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Nathan for a day as he travelled through Melbourne last year, we hung out for the day enjoying our favourite Australian craft beers, and talked about PE for hours.  I could have talked to him for hours more.

 

Dr Ash Casey

ashc

While I have not had the opportunity to meet Ash in person, his work has always impressed me greatly.

As a lecturer and teacher of pre service teachers, I feel that the students graduating out of Loughborough University are in wonderful hands and most likely prepared better than I ever was.

Most of what I have learnt about teaching, and teaching PE, has been learnt on the job and by connecting with other people. By reading Ash’s brilliant and informative blog www.peprn.com (theres also his podcast) I feel like he genuinly understands both sides of the acadamic- practitioner perspective.

As a result he inspires me to connect more with evidence based research and challenges me (and plenty of others) to continuously reflect on, question and critique our own programs and practices.  His work and views provide a compass for best practice.

He has been able to engage in what I would term “big brain thinking” whilst managing to build relationships with teachers from around the world to help generate a better future for #PhysEd.

I hope to connect in person with Ash one day, I have a host of questions ready for him!

So given my perspectives on the above #PhysEd superheroes, you can hopefully appreciate what a wonderful, yet unexpected, experience it was for me to win best blog of 2014.

 

I cannot finish the post without offering a huge thank you to Joey Feith the man behind the awards at www.thephysicaleducator.com Joey works tirelessly to “raise the bar” in #PhysEd. He is the ubiquitous face of global #PhysEd.  How he manages all of the things he does is a mystery to us all (he teaches full time of course too), but I sincerely hope he continues to contribute for the long term because his work is having serious cut through.

I thank all of you for reading, voting and for being a part of this amazing community.

 

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Evolve or Dissolve #EruptiveAction

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 11.31.42 amOur (high school) graduating class of 2014 started prep in 2001.  You don’t need me to tell you that 13 years ago, the world was a very different place. Indeed as our graduating class were kissing goodbye to their parents for their first day at school, Steve Jobs and co were launching the iPod.

No not the iPad or iPhone, that’s right… the iPod!  Interestingly, Apple recently announced they are not making them anymore.  So if you happen to still have one of those little babies, hang onto it, it’s a relic!

But how does teaching compare from then until now?

How do schools compare from then until now?

How does education in general compare from then until now?

I have my answers.

Let’s take a wee peek at some of the revolutions in life, and interesting developments since our preps of 2001 became the class of 2014;

  • Phones now cameras built in
  • iTunes was created
  • YouTube has been invented
  • The iPhone has come into the world
  • The list goes on, click here for a further walk down memory lane.

*Credit -daily infographic

So, it begs the question.

For what future are we preparing next year’s preps? And I don’t mean what are we talking about doing, I mean what are we actually DOING.

In general terms education and schools haven’t (really) changed in the 150 years they have existed.

(rant warning…)

Oh, hang on. I apologise. We do paint the classrooms every year and order new stationary.  And I have to concede also that some schools have ICT and mobile devices, most of which are used to substitute new ways of doing the same old things.

We have been able to expertly substitute the worksheet for a “game”, which is wonderful because it cuts down on marking, keeps the kids busy (and quiet) and the cherry on the top- it has flashing lights.

The result is that we are “churning out” kids along a conveyor belt ready for an industrial age which has passed us by.

Actually, Eric Hoffer said it better;

LearNED quote

(ok…rant over)

So to the action.

Seth Godin, Ken Robinson and a host of others have talked a great deal about the problem (you can add my above rant to theirs, albeit less articulate).

Godin actually said about the possible solutions “I’m in the compass business, not the map business.”

Well who is in the bloody map business then? Because words without action will lead us to the same fate as blockbuster video.  Actually, I would say we’re lucky schooling as a whole can’t go out of business.

My answer…us.  That’s right the teachers.

I’m calling on ‘the insiders’ to engage in some #EruptiveAction.

Lava-erupting-from-the-Puu-Oo-vent

I have created this concept from the philosophy of disruptive thinking, but have modified the term to hopefully force our ideas to become more actionable.

Like a volcano, it’s not a news story if a volcano “might erupt one day”.  It’s a news story when it does.

I would like you to share with me via comments below or any other social media platform the stories or links to ways in which teachers (the lone nuts), students, schools, districts or education systems are doing things differently. Tag items with #EruptiveAction

I will collect and compile a list of success stories to help all of us (myself included) push for, and take, action in our school communities.

I will then store and share all #EruptiveAction stories with our global community.

Perhaps together we can start a 10x movement from within.

Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for sharing.