Wednesday, 13 July 2011

23 Things for Professional Development: Thing #5

Looking back over the past 4 weeks, a couple of things stand out for me. The first is Thing 2: Reading and commenting on other people's blogs. As I've said before, I like reading blogs and have been doing it for some time. But I'm less good at commenting on those blogs, and feeling like I have something useful to say. Thing 2 really got me thinking about what comments I could make to introduce myself to other people, and that they would find helpful. It also meant that I got a number of comments on my blog, which was a really nice feeling as I knew people were reading what I had written. I hope that I'll continue to read and comment on other's blogs, as I did find it very rewarding. I admit that the amount of comments I leave has already dropped, so this is something I'll have to work hard to achieve.

The second thing is part of Thing 4: setting up a Twitter account. If you read my original post, you'll know that I was really quite sceptical about the whole thing. Well, I can admit when I get something wrong - turns out Twitter is looking pretty useful. I don't follow many people yet, but those I do have left some tweets I've found very interesting. I have to say that they're usually the tweets that link to more in-depth articles - as I said previously, I like there to be quite a lot of detail when I'm reading information. I also quite like having a couple of personal contacts on there - it means I get some "fun" tweets in with all the work-related info. The one problem now is that yes, it's another place to look for all that info. Although I did find this blog post really useful for giving me some practical advice on how to use Twitter. More on that in a future post!

One final point is that I really appreciate having a week for some reflective practice. Over the past few years I've spent a lot of my time thinking reflectively, and I don't think I'm too bad at it. Although if you're struggling with reflecting I think the "What-So what?-Now what?" model (see the cpd23 blog post for a fuller explanation) is a really good, simple one to help you understand what it's all about. I do really appreciate having the time to think over things reflectively - I think it's important to know what's happening and how you'll use it in the future. I also think we all need time to assimilate all the new things we're learning. Taking the time to reflect means that the things we are learning about are more likely to become a useful part of our workflows, rather than being used for a month or two and then put down and forgotten about.

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