Monday, 14 November 2011

Thing 5 - Reflective practice

Thing 5 provides an introduction to reflective practice and a chance to reflect on my learning and development  during Things 1 to 4. I'm not new to reflective practice - it has been a vital component of Chartership, Revalidation and many other aspects of life. To support these activities I attended a Reflective Writing half-day event delivered by Margaret Chapman a little while ago. This provided encouragement to use a basic framework for reflection (what happened, so what, what next) which I have been using in my blogs. Even so, I don't find reflection easy, and I definitely need an incentive to do it. Blogging is, I think, a great way to try and be more reflective.

So where am I? What has happened?

Blogging - Doing it, enjoying it, and getting value from it. I have even starting to blog on other matters - Access to Welsh Laws and developing a Welsh Statute. Perhaps I therefore need to consider having a couple  of blogs? However, labels in Blogger are driving me crazy. Clearly I need to investigate how these work, are they for each posting, or do labels apply to the entire blog? This was also an opportunity to consider my personal branding. I've created a blog that I like visually, and I've taken some steps to integrate my blog with my Twitter account and vice-versa (e.g. Tweeting about new blogs, and having a "my Tweets" gadget on my blog page).

Twitter - I've been reintroduced to Twitter, and since the iron curtain has come down in work, (or has the firewall burnt through?) it's now great to be able to catch up with Tweets at lunchtime. Time to really consider how Twitter can be used as an information resource for work. But I also recognise that I still have a lot to learn about Twitter. Fortunately @PME200 provided a couple of very helpful and amusing blogs about the Language of Twitter, and  How to use Twitter.  I learned a lot ... putting the @Name at the beginning of a Tweet will send that tweet directly to them, but will be seen by all followers in common to you both. @ Tab - allowing you to see @ mentions to you. Why these don't appear in your timeline baffles me, but there we are. I'm also investigating Retweeted of mine with thanks to @glambuslib for this - but at present it doesn't seem to work quite how I was expecting it to ... hmmm. More learning. Perhaps this is an incentive to investigate some of the  front-ends for Twitter - not Tweetdeck because that needs software installation - but perhaps there are others to check out. Or perhaps I should just investigate ways to use Twitter more effectively and comprehensively?

RSS Feeds via Google Reader ... yep...  reconsidered, and using again. I also find the blog feeds within Blogger really helpful.

So what? 

Lots of learning and refamiliarization has been achieved to date. But clearly there is still lots to follow up from here. I will blog on my further progress in due course.

So what hasn't worked?

Pushnote - a great idea, which should be well used, but doesn't seem to be! Perhaps Delicious or other social bookmarking tools are more popular? I need to investigate this aspect more as it doesn't seem to be covered in CDP23 Things. That said, if Pushnote is the only let down so far then that's been fatastic.

What have I enjoyed? 

Definitely working alongside my colleagues,  reading about their experiences, and hopefully supporting them during our Monday evening CPD23 sessions. This is proving to be an excellent, well structured opportunity to look at a wide range of tools and to consider my own skills / knowledge.

This has also started me thinking about which social networks to use when and coping strategies. Phil Bradley helpfully considers the connundrum of which social network sites to be involved with together with a  follow-on page on using social media for searching, and how librarians can benefit and influence within these services. I still think that separation of social and professional is the way to go for me .... so I'll be using Facebook for social stuff for the time being. Perhaps now that Google+ has allowed organisations to join, and that CILIP has set up a Google+ group, then I should check this out.  Hmmm ... more to do.

So, what next?

Follow up the action points raised in this blog! And ponder on  "there is no such thing as information overload, there's only filter failure".

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