Monday, June 2, 2008

Reflection on second DIL workshop 21 May 08

Bronwyn gave us this three-step reflective framework to help us work with our reflections on our DILOP learnings. I’m using just its main parts and writing pretty loosely around the framework.

Step One: Take notice & describe the experience - description of evidence
· Write freely about what you have been doing, feeling, thinking, etc…
· Comment on what you know, need, etc…
· Comment on initial thoughts and ideas gained in the workshops and from your reading, researching, teaching and learning experiences etc…
· List the actions you took.

Sarah graciously agreed to show us her blog and to discuss it at the second workshop. She mentioned her ‘happy addiction’ to Animoto as well, and showed us the slideshow of her son’s birthday that this website had put together for her as a freebie. Actually I had started to view it in my office earlier but the music was so loud that I just stopped it as I would have had to think about how to turn down the volume. I’ve got that sorted out since!

Sarah was asked about how she managed the lack of privacy involved with a blog on the web. She explained that she managed stuff to do with her children, but the overall advantage was that having a blog allowed other people to contact her, people she would not otherwise have known, who have provided valuable insights for her research. That is a real benefit, especially for improving quality of research.

I feel that I’d not want to have a blog, being such an introvert and a bit of a wimp. The out-there-ness of it is interesting. I am not confident about even commenting on someone’s blog. I don’t know how to create a blog, but the question is, do I want one?

Smart Board
Later in the workshop I spoke with Bronwyn and Dawn about my goal to learn how to use a Smart Board that I’ve not been able to advance. Dawn recommended on-line tutorials. Bronwyn suggested I find out if there is a manual available. I wasn’t having a good day, but I knew that being shown how to use it would work better for me than trying to work it out from a manual.

Step Two: Analyse the experience - implications of decision/action, reaction
Think about what happened and why.
Outline what you could have done better or differently.
Indicate some strategies which may help next time.
Comment on what worked and what did not.

What I don’t know about or understand can sometimes be intimidating, especially anything to do with technology. I have a long history of problems with it and negative experiences tend to be very reinforcing! Since reflecting on Sarah’s session and listening to others who had blogs already or wanted them, I started to think that a blog would be a great way to increase student participation in journal writing.

I was also getting frustrated with my progress in DILOP, how to record any progress, how to comment on blogs, and I’d even forgotten my password for the Group, so I approached Bronwyn privately for some advice. She suggested I contact Brian Treanor for Smart Board training.

Strategies that work for me are:
A new day – after time out I can think more positively about a problem
A new way – I can approach a problem in a different way that works for me

Step Three: Take Action - Reflect on what you learned and how it will be used
a. Indicate what you learned, what helped and why.
b. How will the things you learned change or affect your future work or study?
c. Identify what you need to explore further or seek help with.
d. List a small number of goals – link these to your decision-making process in step 2.

I have now had a talk with Bronwyn, but before that I remembered my password and tried to comment on an earlier posting on Sunshine’s blog. Today the web is telling me that the page is not available, so I can’t tell whether she has accepted my comment about touch typing. I also sent an e-mail to the group to say that I wanted to learn about blogs at the workshop today (28 May) – and start setting mine up (GOAL!). How do people put pictures on their blogs? How do you add links? How can I make it look professional?

I want to learn about blogs because I believe that I cannot ask my students to record their progress and reflections in a blog unless I also have one that would function as a kind of model – at least it would be leading by example! I am still not sure about being out there on the web, but Bronwyn also reminded me how people have several blogs for several different purposes, and if I like, I can use a pseudonym for my blog.

So if I set this up it will hopefully encourage students to consciously deepen their learning. If I set up one for my research, I may make very beneficial contacts. The bottom line is that I’m starting to learn about blogs.

The discussion with Bronwyn was very helpful in that I firmed up directions again – not only the blog, but perhaps in the next workshop I can start finding out about on-line citing and referencing tools.

Smart Board
See further reflection on my training session.

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