Reflections on 23 Things
On the whole I have enjoyed the 23 Things journey. As I have given my thoughts on the Things as we went along I won't recap them again.
All of the instructions were very well thought out and written, thank you to the Sot23 Things team for the time and effort you all put in.
I found the whole idea of reflecting on my learning daunting and it made me nervous when it came to writing my first few blog posts. Maybe if the course is re-run it could be adjusted and simplified so participants are asked to have 3 questions in mind when they blog about each thing: what you knew before, what you learn, and how you will use your newfound knowledge in future. That way participants can focus on the Things rather than feeling intimidated by the concept of reflective learning, which may be something totally new to them.
Many of the Things took far more than an hour to explore and blog about, especially the weeks where the Things related to ‘time management’ (oh the irony), ‘networking’ and ‘getting organized’.
I think that future reruns of the course could make it easier for participants to engage and keep on target if more of a community feel was developed. This could take the form of Google Drive being moved to the start of the course and participants being encouraged to write their thoughts/comments/struggles on a shared document that everyone can contribute to. This could also help if people are finding one of the Things difficult as it could function as a help and advice forum, with participants sharing their knowledge and troubleshooting tips.
Alternatively, people could be encouraged to sign up for the course in pairs and write a shared blog. That way they could split the workload when it felt too heavy for one person to manage and would be able to support and encourage each other.
Maybe all participants could be asked to create a blog using the same platform (either Blogger or Wordpress) to make posting comments on each other’s blogs easier. The instructions for turning off the annoying word verification spam filter could be provided at the start; I haven’t used it and have not had any spam (so far!).
The timing of the course was perfect for me as I got my first ever smartphone at the end of last year and it made several of the tasks much easier, especially Flickr and the photography competition (but also adding photos to my blog posts). I know the library has several smartphones and tablet devices available for participants to use but it would be very useful each device came with a set of instructions relevant to the specific tasks, such as how to take photos and upload them to Flickr, and how to access and use the QR code reader. Again, this is the area where working in pairs or groups could be useful if participants have to get to grips with new technology and new Things all at the same time.
I would change around the order of the Things and replace a few of them with different things. I would move Google Drive to the second week so that participants could communicate and collaborate more easily and move Creative Commons nearer the start of the course so that participants know from the start which images from the web they can use on their blogs and why.
I would join Things 1 and 2 (create a blog, write a blog post) together as a single Thing and take out LibraryThing (or maybe offer it as an optional extra) which would mean we could add in 2 different Things, maybe YouTube, wikis, Survey Monkey, Scoop.it or Storify. I would also take out EndNote and replace it with Sharepoint as that has more relevance to the University of Southampton.
Thank you to everyone who has read or commented on any of my blog posts, but now it’s…