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The approaching new year brings with it an opportunity to reflect upon the past year and focus on new challenges ahead. This year I have been fortunate to connect with and learn from truly courageous educators who are taking on the challenge of creating the kinds of schools and learning spaces our students need for future success.

The power of social networks has enriched my own professional learning in so many ways. While I have been an active consumer of the insights shared by others, I have struggled with how to start contributing to the grand conversation by sharing my own thinking. Then, I encountered a challenge.

Back in July, I came across George Couros's "Summer Blogging Challenge" via Twitter. In his post, Couros provided a point of entry for educators to share their learning through blogging. He suggested a "happy medium" between daily blogging and taking time to relax and recharge one's batteries during the summer break. His challenge was inspiring in its directness and simplicity. In short, he proposed:

...blogging about one article that you have read that you find interesting or perhaps helpful to your personal goals, or organizational goals.  Share some quotes, ideas, and then your own thoughts about the article.  I think it would also be helpful to those encouraging others to use social media in their school to reference where they received it from.

Now I have read lots of blog posts written by thoughtful educators who are doing amazing work on the behalf of the children they serve. I have been impressed with their willingness to share their thinking and practices along the way. At the same time, I have struggled to get started by putting my own thinking and reflections out there. I needed a place to begin.

While summer is a distant memory, I'd like to apply Couros's idea to this moment and carry it into the new year as my personal challenge. As I move into the new year, I want to commit to taking the time to stop, reflect and share my learning and thinking with others. So here I go...

What is your personal challenge for the new year?

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

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In the 21st Century our approach to education can and should be very different from previous centuries. The basic skills we teach are pretty much the same, but the tools we have to use require a different approach, as well as additional and very different literacies from centuries past. Information once difficult to find, maintain, and disseminate is now found by a voice command to a mobile device. The model of the teacher as the content expert standing in the front of the room, lecturing to…See More
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In the 21st Century our approach to education can and should be very different from previous centuries. The basic skills we teach are pretty much the same, but the tools we have to use require a different approach, as well as additional and very different literacies from centuries past. Information once difficult to find, maintain, and disseminate is now found by a voice command to a mobile device. The model of the teacher as the content expert standing in the front of the room, lecturing to…See More
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