Monday, 9 April 2018

Week 29 - PRACTICE - Professional Online Social Networks

Week 29 - PRACTICE - Professional Online Social Networks

Social networking - Whats the purpose for me and whats the purpose for learning?

 Linda Finlay from the Open University (UK)

I love the quote that Finlay uses, from Smyth (1992) in regard to reflection and how it can mean 'different things to different people', like an 'umbrella'.

Reflective practice is yet a deeper and more progressive process, that will allow (if done with a growth mind set) more questions to be considered and researched than the expectation of answers. This means, critical reflection into the practice and seeking measuring of the bigger picture for diverse learners. Dewey reflected on teaching as an organic and forever changing process, that could be measured and calculated from the recording of experiences and encouraged teachers to realise" unless the initial connection was made between school activities and the life experiences of the child, genuine learning and growth would be impossible". This is crucial for a teacher, to truly learn who their learners are and where they come from. This also encourages empathy for another and a base to start engagement of the style in which a student learns. 

When the 'uncomfortable start' that all learners experience, from newness, created from the experience of new ideas explored or shared, surroundings or rhythms of the lessons, it is from here the experiences can be described as one who can then continue onto 'critical analysis' and after ongoing critical reflection, a person can then become to engage in the 'development of a new perspective', Atkins and Murphy (1993).
Image result for Atkins and Murphy 1993

I must say, during my time in teaching and back when I was a student it has always been challenging at times to be judged in my learning. I have always struggled with various forms of academic writing and specific rules the English language has at times limited my expression. In my practice I still go off on tangents when explaining areas of reflection from analysis of results and also evidence I need to provide. However, my students engagement for learning is enriched each year with the interactions we have together, verbally and the knowledge we share both in and out of class. We use social media for resource sharing, questioning and evidence found. We use practical methods to support our written work and the deep research we do by year 13, is independent and engages introspection during the process for scholarship technology prototype development. The 'reflection conversation' happens when evaluation takes place, both in the learner and as a teacher. 
“Maybe reflective practices offer us a way of trying to make sense of the uncertainty in our workplaces and the courage to work competently and ethically at the edge of order and chaos…” (Ghaye, 2000, p.7)

The professional practice of a teacher has become about reflection so much more than planning ahead and instead of piles of paper, online digital formats are developed to make it easier and ultimately safer to keep documentation, links to research and people who are appraising us, access to our portfolio of findings. 

Somehow I still find that, the word of reflection can only have effect and power if SMART goals are made and pathways are identified.

I truly believe that it is the process that is important and the life long learners that seek to improve their interaction with their learners and the development of communication in a safe and effective manner that is important. Digital platforms are like have a international library, design and creative gallery, with abundant access to other professionals in teaching who may have a solution to a problem or answer to a question that can be found so much more quicker that ever before. 

Twitter and google are two very basic but effective platforms to find support when 'stuck on an area"

To be connected to others and support others to learn, it is so important other wise, 'how do you know you are doing well?', Office of Ed Tech. (2013, Sep 18).

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