Happy New YearOn the final day of 2014, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of the visitors and supporters of the Seomra Ranga website a Happy New Year and wish you all the best for 2015. Many thanks for your constant support for the work of the website and your continued engagement with the site, especially through the Twitter and Facebook pages.

It’s been another busy year on the site with the publication of 346 new posts, including new resources, SEN resources, Guest Posts, app reviews, book reviews, website reviews, education news, competitions and more. The year also saw the overall number of posts on the site break the 3,500 mark, not bad for something that is worked on part-time! Visitor numbers to the site have remained strong resulting in more bandwidth being required to run the site again this year.

It wouldn’t be an education year without attending some conferences. This year I presented at the annual CESI conference on “A Digital Response to the Class Novel“. In May, I attended the inaugural Excited Digital Learning Festival which promised to work on the formulation of a policy for digital education in Ireland over the next few years. In July, I visited a summer course in Blackrock Education Centre via Skype where I spoke to participants about SEN resources and the website in general. In October, I presented at the Teachmeet East conference, again via Skype, on Peg Maths Resources which I have developed for the site. Finally, In November I attended the Teachmeet Donegal conference, where I presented on Apps for SEN Pupils.

2014 was also another year where I was delighted to be nominated for various awards: Seomra Ranga reached the Short List for the Blog Awards Ireland 2014 in the Best Education Blog category; The site reached the Finalists’ List for the first time for the Irish Web Awards 2014 in the Best Education / Third Level website category; And at the end of the year Seomra Ranga was again nominated for the Edublog Awards 2014 in three different categories:Best Individual Blog, Best Teacher Blog and Best Ed Tech/Resource Sharing Blog.

Movember2014 was also the first year since the site began in 2007 that I decided to use it for a fundraising cause. I took part in the Movember fundraising campaign to spark conversation and raise vital funds for men’s health programmes, especially awareness about men’s cancers. The campaign on the site raised a fantastic €1,250. Many thanks to those of you who took the trouble to contribute to this worthwhile cause.

At this stage of the year, it is important to again emphasise that, although the site provides downloadable resources for free, the site does not stay online without costs. Costs include domain registration, website hosting for both Seomra Ranga and Nollaig Shona websites, site maintenance fees and other sundry costs. Without advertising and Google adverts, the site would simply not be cost effective to stay online. So, I would encourage visitors to the site to click on the odd Google Advert (each click earns a couple of cents!) and to support the companies who advertise on the site.

As we approach 2015, the plan is to keep doing what many of you have told me they like about Seomra Ranga – providing resources pertaining to the Irish curriculum and keeping you up to date with education-related news.

Again, I wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to engaging with many of you again next year through the website. Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh go léir!