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2012 complete and what lies ahead in 2013

As we come to the end of another year, I like to think about what lies ahead in 2013. I have been very fortunate this year to have lots of opportunities to develop professionally and work with some with some fantastic people in developing resources and ideas to use with SEN students. On Twitter, @TeacherToolkit was asking teachers what has been their three highlights of the year. For me there have been many, but I narrowed it down to the three moments –

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So as 2012 comes to an end, I look forward to what 2013 will bring. Particular things I am looking forward to are:

  1. Continuing to be part of the Kinect in SEN Professional Learning Community – this group of professionals are looking at ways to use the Kinect and other gesture based technology with open-source software to help engage SEN learners to explore different activities to promote movement, creativity and interaction. The response, so far has been excellent with many developers being interested in helping us create applications
  2. Android and Microsoft Tablets – I confess that I am somewhat of an Apple fan and the iPad has certainly had an impact on learning of students with SEN if used correctly. However, I am also excited about the other tablets available especially the Google Nexus 7. For me personally, the specification of the tablet and the price are certainly appealing. In addition, being able to code and get applications onto the the tablets using Processing is another selling point and something that I hope to explore later this year. I feel we have started to see a different Apple over the last few months and though they will continue to produce fantastic pieces of hardware, Google and Microsoft are certainly weighing in there with alternatives.
  3. Develop my own coding – since the summer I have been learning to code in Processing and have managed to code a couple of applications myself. This year I want to develop this further and start looking at other languages and platforms such as OpenFrameworks and Ruby Processing.
  4. The release of the Leap Motion – another piece of technology that allows the user to control computers using gesture based movement. This is similar to the Kinect, but tracks just hand and finger movement.
  5. Finishing our interactive floor and wall display for our sensory room – this is something we began working on in the Autumn term and hope to complete this term. We are looking at a cost-effective solution using the kinect and webcams to provide interactive displays for students to use. Many SEN technologies companies charged thousands of pounds for this, where as the aim of the project is to keep costs to a minimum and I am happy to say we are on track with this.
  6. Developing in my role of Head of Year – I have really enjoyed the challenge of being Head of Year this term. The role throws up many different challenges and I have been fortunate enough to have a fantastic team to work with. At the beginning of the term, I certainly felt out of my comfort zone, but I have really enjoyed the pastoral side of the role and have really noticed a difference with the year group at the end of Christmas which credit should go to the whole of the Year 11 team.
  7. Lastly to continue to use Twitter to share and engage with like minded individuals. It certainly has helped me in a number of ways and given me opportunities that might not have occurred if i had not spent the time to interact and collaborate with many other professionals on the social network.

This list is not exhaustive and as usual it very difficult to predict what will occur over the next 12 months. I certainly would not have predicted to be where I am now 12 months ago.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!

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