Archive for June, 2012
Things 5 is about Reflective Practice.
When I was a teacher, reflective practice was an integral part of my every day work. I had to write lesson evaluations – reflecting on what had gone well, what hadn’t worked and why and what I was going to do next. This was essentially Burton’s (1970) model of ‘What?, So What? , What Now?’. It was a useful system because it was brief and helpful in recognising positives and improving on areas that were not as successful.
I found ‘Thoughts on Learning Processes and Other Musing‘ a very useful refresher on reflective practice ideas. I’ve been encouraged by my manager to have a reflective approach to work as a trainee and although I have written some blog posts reflecting on my experiences, a lot of my reflection has been either ‘in-action’ or a more mental reflection. I think this is because I’d somehow grown a misconception that reflective writing had to be epic in length. This ‘thing’ has reminded me that, actually, it can be as brief as you like, just so long as it’s pro-active and useful in developing your understanding of the experience and beneficial to practice.
One thing I think is important to add to this is that when thinking about applying what you have learned, using SMART targets or aims will help make sure your new goals are achievable.
Out of the models examined in the above blog, I found the inclusion of emotional responses in ‘Gibbs’ model interesting as it’s not something I’ve seen before but an emotional or intuitive reflection is just as important, in my opinion, as a logical one.
With that in mind, I’ve mashed together a couple of the suggested models and decided on a simple reflective framework to start putting into practice.
- What have you done? [training, a project, an everyday task]
- Why did you do it? [What was the purpose?]
- How did it make you feel?
- What did you learn from it?
- What will you do next?[Action Plan]
Starting as I mean to go on, here is a brief reflection on the CPD23 process so far:
I joined the CPD23 on-line course in order to increase my current awareness of key library topics, meet some other librarians and learn more about some of the most useful on-line tools. So far the experience has been extremely positive and although it’s quite time consuming, taking part has been informative and interesting.
I’ve learned a lot of great tips for use with a range of tools including RSS feeds, Storify and Twitter; I’m more aware of the importance of ‘brand’ but I’m not overly anxious about it; I’m more confident blogging and commenting and I’ve read some great blogs by other participants that have made me think and re-evaluate my own opinions or practice.
- I hope to continue the learning process by completing the 23Things course on time
- I’m aiming to become more active on Twitter. As a first step I’d like to take part in /follow the next uklibchat event.
- I’m going to continue to use this reflective model after training sessions and projects to ensure I’m getting the most out my experiences
So it turns out I couldn’t actually wait to give Storify a go – especially when there was a major astronomical event just waiting to be ‘Storified’! Behold: 23 Things – 4/23 [Part2] Storify: The Transit of Venus
(I apologise for the lack of library theme, but this event seemed like a good topic to practice on!)
I quite enjoyed using Storify, it was pretty quick and simple to use. You can choose to set up an account or simply log in via Twitter or Facebook. The main Storify page looks like this:
You type your key words into the search box (just once!) and can move back and forth between the different media sources, dragging and dropping items into the story pad (on the left). The media sources present a good range of items to choose from and I was happy to see the Instagram icon though disappointed by a lack of results! I also found myself having to trawl through Twitter results for a while to find the most relevant items. I’d recommend putting the ‘Storify Bookmarklet’ to use if you’re after specific tweets – it’s easy to install and after a little time, the tweets I’d selected appeared in the story editor. (Although, now I have no idea how to delete them from there…)
I’m not sure how others have found using the ’embed’ option with WordPress but mine didn’t like it very much so in the end I chose to just ‘export’ the Story to my blog, which worked much better – but (be warned) did instantly publish the Story.
This might just be me, but I do find the end product looks a bit disorganised – I’m not sure if with more time and attention to detail, you can make the stories look a bit more presentable but I think I’d like to see more editing tools available in the future. However, it’s a great tool for quickly gathering together important and relevant information. For example, today I saw it being put to great use drawing together responses from a recent uklibchat on Twitter: #uklibchat – Libraries and Leadership
(Just a little bit late to the party….)
Thing 4 is all about tools for Current Awareness, in particular we’re looking at Twitter, RSS and Storify.
Current awareness tools in the library world are really important for making sure we are providing the best service we can and ensuring the promotion and sharing of good practice throughout the profession! They’re also a fun way of maintaining CPD and just sharing the news and events that have meaning to us.
(I got bored of writing in paragraphs, hence a diagram! 🙂 )
I do like and enjoy using Twitter the most out of the three current awareness tools we’re looking at for Thing 4. I think because Twitter only allows such short updates, it’s much easier to see or post what is happening as it happens. The reTweet feature generally helps to ensure you rarely miss anything important or interesting, creating lists helps to keep tweets manageable and the # feature provides a great way to search out just the information you’re looking for.
Although I’ve known about RSS for a while, I admit to being a bit confused by it all. I didn’t know it stood for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ for one and had no idea that Google Reader was just an RSS feed reader! Once that clicked, RSS became much easier to understand (Huzzah!) as I’ve been using RSS under the guise of Google Reader for months!
I’ve found Google Reader to be a really valuable tool, especially since beginning CPD23 as it would be impossible to keep up with so many blogs without it. I also follow blogs by authors, other libraries and friends and thanks to a tip from Lizzie’s Thing 4 Blog I’ve now re-organised all of my feeds into helpful folders. What I also like about Google Reader is that it indicates when new blog posts are available to read very clearly with a number beside the blog name – this just means I can see at a glance who has posted and where I need to catch up!
The only downside I can think of really is that well…it’s not the prettiest of interfaces! But its practical, so that works for me 🙂
I hadn’t heard of Storify before Thing 4 but having looked at a few of the examples given in the CPD23 blog it has certainly piqued my interest. It’s something I think I’ll need a little more time to fully explore so I’m going to come back to it in one of our catch up weeks!
To end, here is a fun Storyify that was Tweeted the other day: Terrifying French Children’s Books by Jenny Colgan.