Monday, 25 July 2011

A quiet Monday morning

It's a nice quiet start to the week which is in stark contrast to the Monday mornings during term time. This week is the quietest time of the year as there will be few students if any unlike in other holidays when we still get some using the LRC. For staff it is a time to relax slightly and concentrate on finishing off work from the year and making sure any tasks are completed. For me it is an opportunity to get through my 'to do' list with the minimum of interruptions.

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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

cpd23 thing 5 reflective practice

It is true that the most difficult and the most important aspect of  reflective practice is finding the time to do it.  If you don't stand back and look at what you are doing or have done and evaluate and review it in some way then you're not gaining as much as you could do from the experience.  However this is easy to say as sometimes there is not the opportunity and also sometimes you don't want to or need to spend time or energy going back over things to see what you should have done or could have done differently.  It has got to have a positive outcome - there have been plenty of occasions when I have thought ' that didn't go well, I won't do that again' but hopefully I have realised what I would change in the future.  On a positive note there have been projects and activities that have gone well and they have succeeded because of detailed planning and also from having some experience in a similar situation and knowing what the pitfalls are going to be.  There have also been instances when things have gone well due to luck, good fortune and seizing the initiative at the time. 
For me personally I know that I have to sometimes take time out to either reflect or just not think at all.  But I don't do it on a regular basis, I do it when I recognise the need and as time goes on it becomes easier to know when to do it.  Sometimes I can't do it as I'm too wrapped up in what's happening and too impatient to move it forward. 
Blog writing is a good way for me to reflect because I prefer words to sounds - I like the look of the words on the page or screen - text is easier for thinking than audio for me.  I don't use a particular structure I just try to report on what's happening and how well it is going so I can look back at it and evaluate it.
The other thing that I do when I need to step out of a project or activity is to do something techie or geeky e.g. experiment with QR codes, create a webpage, 'play' with the interactive whiteboard and create a resource.  It works for me.

Impromptu CPD - 'go for a walk and talk and reflect'

Today it was sunny and bright outside when I got to College.  On the way to work I had been listening to the radio and there had been talk about the benefits of going for a walk and taking exercise to prevent Alzheimer's.  So when I went into our department office and staff workroom I suggested that everyone went for a quick 20 minute walk.  As usual when I suggest an idea or plan, my team look at me suspiciously, although gradually over the last 2 - 3 years they have realised that it's ok, it might be a good plan and usually humour me by taking it on board. 
So the conditions were that everyone should go for a walk around the dock outside the College and they could discuss work issues and reflect upon their own, each others and the departments current situation.  If anyone wanted to go on their own that would be ok too - i went on my own as I wanted to reflect but others went in groups.  It is an appropriate time to be doing this as this week it finally seems like the end of the academic year, we have survived and achieved and we can tidy up this year and start planning for the next.  During term time we are so busy that it seems impossible to step back even for an hour and look at what we are trying to achieve.  The sunny weather won't last that's for sure but perhaps the benefits of a walk and talk will.

Monday, 4 July 2011

cpd23 - Thing 4

Thing 4 involves Twitter which is great as I am a Twitter fanatic and tweet lots @clairedonlan

I was then going to sign up for Pushnote - which I did and it asked for my twitter id / name so that it could find any of my followers or people I follow who are on Pushnote - and there were none :(
So I'm not sure how useful it would be.
If anyone else is signed up for Pushnote, I would be interested to know if it is useful and worth doing.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

QR codes - and a trip out

We have lots of ideas for using QR codes in the LRC and for e-learning from next term.
So far we have just experimented by creating a QR code which links to the information about the learning technologies.  This is just a photo of the mini posters that we have put up (not the image of the actual code)
On Wednesday it was workforce development day.  On the morning most of the staff did customer care training while I helped the ICT Staff trainer with some training sessions on learning styles and creating audio and video.  On the afternoon we went out to the Museum of Hartlepool to look at how they have used QR codes on some of their exhibits.  They have been created as part of a project by a local school and they were really good.

They worked well but the only thing which I hadn't thought of was the issue of wifi for the iPod Touch.  There was a wifi network there but I couldn't access it as a visitor.  The iPhones worked as they are just using the phone network.  Apart from that it was good and I would recommend it as a museum to visit with plenty of activities for children and adults (I'm not sure what my dept thought of it but it's good research I think)