I’ve been sitting amongst the buttercups thinking about edutech burnout, social media distractions and work/life balance. And yes, my iPhone with Olloclip attached is always in hand to snap those that join me.
Thoughts have been around
- online learning…moving from delivering content to facilitating learning that’s active, social and creative
- the heartbeat of online communities
- more pedagogy less tools
- employment, the home office and time management
Naturally I felt pride as I watched my daughter walk across the stage, at her Graduation Ceremony yesterday, to accept her Bachelor certificate. After 16 years of formal education, at the cost of many $$$, she made it.
“Making it”, said the Professor, “means that you’ve gained much knowledge and many skills but you’re still on a journey of lifelong learning.” His speech to the new Graduates made good sense.
The main points in his message were:
- learning doesn’t stop here
- keep on asking the questions
- mentor others
- share your knowledge with the community
- thank your support network
- nurture your friendships
His message was refreshing to hear and my daughter left this special occasion with her feet planted firmly on the ground.
12 months have passed since I started blogging as a way of recording, sharing and chatting about my professional development activities. Along the way I’ve created artifacts, received feedback, had discussions about new and innovative classroom activities, developed relationships with like minded people and helped others with their blogging.
There are many other benefits to blogging but one that I didn’t fully appreciate, until recently, was that of Reflective Practice.
Reflect and Connect has come to an end. Having just completed this course I’ve gained more insight into the process of and the need for self reflection as an educator. Without calling it “reflective practice” it’s now clear to me that blogging is exactly that…a means to record thoughts, actions and conversations about education.
What’s reflective practice I hear you say?
To me it means thinking about:
- how I’ve done things in the past
- my successes and failures
- why students are disengaged in maths and science classes
- how can I make their learning fun and relevant
- what technology and tools can I use to enhance student learning
- how do I know that my students are learning what is intended
- what professional development can I do for ongoing learning and growth
- how can I learn from and share information with other educators…develop my personal learning network more widely
- as a tutor and online educator how can I reach and support students in my community
- what are the best ways to assist my students with special needs
Reflective practice isn’t always easy, it takes time and needs to be ongoing. It keeps us from being stuck in a rut, feeling ineffective, outdated and irrelevant.
I’d be interested to know what other questions educators are asking themselves in order to keep up with the changing needs of our students.
My support network is made up of many parts, both personal and professional, online and offline.
This week’s task for Reflect and Connect was to use a web tool to illustrate our support network.
I had a bit of fun and chose sketchfu to make a small animation that can be viewed by clicking on this image.
Here’s a few thoughts about support networks:
- they’re human, social and, at times, can be supported and enabled by technology
- made up of people connected through family, work and hobbies
- precious and valued
- two way
- need to be trusted
- can be virtual
- need nurturing
- provide emotional and practical help
- life long and fluid…relationships come and go
I’d be interested to share more thoughts about your support networks.
Who do you turn to for advice, how do you keep your network alive?
During week 4 of Reflect and Connect, participants have been focussing on reflective practice in the workplace.
It’s not easy to consider questions such as: does this process improve the quality of our performance, deepen understanding and lead to personal and professional growth?
Why is reflection important for learning?
We took a look at Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle :
The Learning Cycle suggests that it is not sufficient to have an experience in order to learn. It is necessary to reflect on the experience to make generalisations and formulate concepts which can then be applied to new situations.
Developing reflective practice means developing ways of reviewing our own teaching so that it becomes a routine and a process by which we might continuously develop.
Pedagogy does matter and I welcome any chance to scrutinise my practice in order to improve student learning.
But….am I always aware of what needs my attention?
Something clicked when I saw this video. It make me think about the typical “teen” who gave me grief in many maths and science classes. Was he being rude and disruptive to impress his mates and maintain his “notorious reputation” or did he need my attention and care because of his learning difficulty and abuse at home?
Thank you to Professor Daniel Simons for allowing bloggers to embed his videos on visual perception.
I missed what was really happening in the video the first time, how did you go?