Friday, October 12, 2007

What have I gained from this course

This posting is in response to a suggestion by Sue in Leigh's blog

What have been the highlights?
There have been quite a few.
the 10 minute lectures have undoubtedly been really great. I can see the opportunities to do this sort of thing in the field of midwifery and maternity care. Wouldn’t it be great to get speakers like Anne Frye or Janet Balaskas or Sheila Kitzinger or Robyn Maude to speak on a particular topic and provide students with the opportunities to talk with these people online? How inspiring would that be? Or perhaps to speak with midwives who work in different aspects of midwifery care, an isolated rural midwife, a core midwife, an antenatal educator, etc.

I have really enjoyed getting started with this blog.
Although I have always seen the value in regular reflective journaling or writing I have never been able to sustain this activity for long. Somehow I feel I might be able to keep this blog going. I do need a more private space as well for more personal reflection, or reflection relating to particular aspects of clinical practice and I have now managed to establish this also through Mahara.
I got a lot out of the collaborative wiki that Sarah and I worked on developing up as
an abstract for conference and I think this is something I could use more.
One of the biggest things I think has been finding all the great Google tools there are that I had no idea about. I love igoogle, I signed up for gmail yonks ago but had never really seen the value in it but now I have it on my igoogle page and am using it all the time. Leigh has done a great wee video on google maps with lots of neat features. I have started using firefox and love that also.

I have enjoyed participating in this course with others from different disciplines. As a midwife I have seldom had the opportunity to work with others in this way and it is an aspect of the course that I have really enjoyed. The person I have communicated most with however has been with Sarah, with whom I share an office. This may be because we know each other face to face but could also be because we share many interests (not romantic novels or rugby however - I am not a fan)

What aspect(s) caused you the most anxiety?
I think the shear volume of resources that there are. I am still finding things which are pertinent to this course that I did not know existed. For example some of the resources that Leigh has on his blog that I am only just exploring now. I think also that sometimes I am bit off track, trying to see how I can use these resources in my teaching rather than how I can use them to meet the requirements of this course.
When you try time and again to get a particular thing to work and just can’t get it to happen, it is very frustrating. Mostly I have managed to work through these things though, and this is a really valuable learning experience. I do worry about future students out there struggling with these tools though? I am not sure they would stick with it.

Was there any aspect(s) that surprised you?
I am continually surprised at the amount of resources there are out there and all the really interesting things that people have done and put out to help others.
With the knowledge you now have gained — what would you do differently?
Not much I think. Perhaps it would be good to have a bit more direction at times. I think the idea of finding out what the students want to get from the course at the outset is a good one as not everyone will be here for the same reason. I think Leigh and Bronwyn have done a good job of commenting on our online work to let us know they are reading them and have often offered helpful hints at this time.


Sarah Stewart said...

I have to admit that I have found it extremely valuable being able to do this course with you, Carolyn. I have enjoyed being able to bounce ideas off you that relate specifically to midwifery. I hope this is the beginning of a collaboration on an article or book, even!! Through doing this, I feel I have got to know you in a way I never have in the past and I have really enjoyed that. So that has been an unexpected but wonderful bonus of this course. so thank you, Carolyn and thank you, Bronwyn and Leigh, for all your help.

PS: great link to Flickr-I'm going to have to do that now, to keep up with you!

Carolyn McIntosh said...

Thanks for the kind comments Sarah. The collaboration with you has also been a big bonus for me. I do think it has helped to keep me motivated and stimulated. You have such a wonderful way of putting things, I read your blog and think, Yes! that is exactly what I think too. Anyway I do look forward to our future joint efforts whatever these are.

Sue Waters said...

Well done Carolyn for taking the time to reflect on these questions. I hope they helped you think more about your learning.

A friend who gives me advice on professional development explained to me that it is very important to build reflective learning into my programs because apparently when people reflect on their learning it helps their learning process. I find as a facilitator that I gain so much from hearing their thoughts because during the sessions there just is not enough time to always hear what has been happening.

I have been totally amazed by the 10 minute lecture series and never thought I twisting it around to sessions for my area (aquaculture) so thanks for opening my eyes to the possibilities.

When I did the Better Blog challenge the best aspect was the increased gain by working as a team with others and learning so much about their areas of interest.

When I first started out using the different tools my focus was always on how can I use with students. I have now discovered that I need to use them for my own personal learning as I use them more, and become effective at using them then I realise how I can use them with my students. And as you say it is always important to remember how long it has taken you to feel comfortable so you do need to take this into consideration with students.

Occupational Therapy Otago said...

Hi Carolyn
It's a great learning curve we are all on with web2. It never ceases to amaze me how much time I need to put into the learning the technology never mind sorting the content. I go through the frustration and then the elation when something works but then into despair when I can't remember how I did it the last time!. It's great to see how far you are getting.


Carolyn McIntosh said...

Thanks Jackie. I agree there is never enough time. I do need to prioritise better as I am sending way too much time on this. However I am enjoying it too, I am learning so much and I would not be able to learn so much if I did not put in this time.
Thanks also to Sue, who gave me the inspiration to make this posting.

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