As the year winds down, I always try and take the time and think about what I was able to accomplish. This year, more than others it seems, was all about collaboration. I have had a chance to work with some of the most amazing people and I thought it would be crazy for me to keep my praise and thanks all to myself. I worked with some awesome people and here are just a few, in no particular order, that I want to show some love. If we worked together and I do not have you listed here, please do not feel sad. I love working with everyone I collaborate, but have to limit the post as best as I can.
Kelly Tenkely -Project PLN
I know I have written more than my fair share of posts about her awesomeness over the past couple of years, but that is because she is constantly awesome. Even though she has started a school (Yes, you read that right. STARTED A FREAKING SCHOOL.), she has still helped me co-edit Project PLN. It has been a tough year filled with deadlines and extension, but we couldn't be prouder of what we have shared with all of you. Project PLN has always been about sharing and we have loved what people have sent in. As we get ready for the December/January Issue, I know that I would not be able to pull this off without her. Kelly, thank you for being a great collaborator and an amazing friend. I would work on any project with you. Just ask.
Shannon M Miller and Shawn Hyer - The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project
I can't even believe we were able to pull it off. Seriously, it still seems like a blur. Without their help, I never would have been able to put together the most amazing plan I have ever conceived and will ever implement. Shannon brought Shawn and I together and we were able to create a project that will stand the test of time. Students will talk about this project at reunions and I have the DVD to share with them. I am so proud of that DVD, I have a copy in my Firebox that I use to store birth certificates, passports and other important documents. That is how much that project means to me. Thank you Shannon and Shawn for your dedication to a crazy idea that inspired students to take Shakespeare and make it their own.
Kelli Fimbinger and Jeff Nardone - The Tower and TheTowerPulse.net
Two years ago, Jeff asked me if I would be interested in helping him start an online version of the schools national award winning weekly newspaper. He assured me that I would take care of the tech end and he would handle the journalism end. Since Jeff is a fun guy to work with, I said yes with little hesitation. Due to some scheduling issues, I was not able to run the class and this new teacher to the district came in and was given the class. It was the best decision the district has made in a long time. Kelli is an amazing person to work with on The Pulse. She is a great English teacher who has pushed me to be creative and fun in my lessons and an amazing sounding board for class issues. Jeff invited me into the world of journalism and showed me how a paper is made. It can be tough to fit into a well oiled machine like The Tower, but The Pulse was able to win an award in our first year and we are going for the top award in online journalism this year. This would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of Jeff and Kelli. I couldn't think of working with anyone else on these projects.
I have had the chance to work with 19Pencils.com
on a consulting basis. I do this from time to time to help sites with what teachers want or need. I've worked with a handful of groups, but these guys have been amazing. They have taken criticism well and want to know what teachers and students really want, not what can we sell them. In a world where there are many "educational" business, these guys are dedicated to making a good product for teachers and students. I do not speak for groups that I do not support whole heartily, so believe me when I say 19Pencils is legit and with your time.
Tim Gwynn - #EduBro
Tim is my brother from another brother and my chief source of comic relief when things get lame. We put together the best event at ISTE11 and will be planning an even more epic event for ISTE12. I plan to keep it classy in San Diego and I wouldn't do it without my #EduBro.
I love writing for these guys and gals. I have had the chance to hang out with the workers of Edutopia and they are some of the coolest people in the world. I love getting a chance to write for them and share my thoughts on tech integration. Writing for Edutopia is exciting because it forces me to write a bit differently than I do for this site and I think it is important to do that for a writer. Also, I get to tell people I write for George Lucas. That's never a bad thing to share with Star Wars geeks.
Michael, Karen, Linda, Chris, Melanie, Mary and company all played a major part in bringing Edcamp to Detroit. I never thought it was going to happen until that Saturday rolled around and things got started. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. People showed up, filled out the board and shared. Edcamp fell the same week and the end of my Epic Romeo and Juliet Project, so my brain was all over the place. The Edcamp crew came together and made sure that everything went smoothly. As we start to gear up for Edcamp Detroit 2012, I know that my crew can accomplish anything we set our minds to. Bonus, I will not be expecting a child next May either. That actually leads me to my last collaborator.
- Wife and Chief Collaborator
I know I said that this was not in a particular order, but that is kind of a lie. My wife has been my best and most important collaborator this year. Any idea I have had has run through her first. Her views are invaluable to me. I can't imagine having accomplished any of the above without her support. Most of all, we collaborated on the most beautiful baby in the world. As collaborations go, he by far is the best finished product.
Thanks to everyone that has risked working with me this past year. I encourage everyone to take a moment and thank the people you loved working with this year.