Thing 5: Reflective Practice
No fancy gadgets this week!–The cpd23 assignment this time around is to engage in reflective practice about our participation in the program so far. Reflective practice, as I understand it, is a process of looking back at what we have done, analyzing what happened and why, and then making changes in order to do it better. In the library world I’ve most recently read about this concept in the textbook for the summer Instructional Design class I’m taking, Reflective Teaching Effective Learning: Instructional Literacy for Library Educators by Char Booth (which is an awesome, accessible text geared toward helping librarians become–you guessed it–reflective, effective teachers). In a teaching situation, one of the goals of reflective practice is to see things from the student’s point of view so that the lesson is more effective the next time around. Reflecting on my participation in cpd23 feels like it has more of an inward focus, since by its very nature a blog is a kind of public introspection. Perhaps that should be my first observation!
- One of the cool things about social media is that when used well, it can help build a community of people with similar interests who otherwise wouldn’t meet. In keeping with the cpd23 assignments, I have been writing on my blog (Thing 1), found some neighbors (Thing 2), reluctantly thought about my personal brand (Thing 3), and resuscitated my Twitter account (Thing 4). But so far, even though I’ve been reflecting on how the Things have worked for me, I haven’t done much to connect with other participants since Thing 2 (partially for fear of falling into an interwebs black hole). I’d like to make more of an effort to establish an online network as I work through the rest of the cpd23 Things. I think I’ll focus on the blog and Twitter so I don’t get overwhelmed, and I’ll try to set aside some time each week just for this.
- Blogging is weird. That’s my second observation. It’s an odd feeling to send your words out into the world where really anybody can read them, but probably nobody will. [Disclaimer: major nerd alert ahead] I think about blogging as a kind of twenty-first century answer to the eighteenth century practice of self-publishing through manuscript circulation. Literary groups would circulate their manuscripts to each other, and sometimes someone would send a piece on to a third party who might not know the original author. So writers had a controlled audience through this kind of social manuscript sharing. Since starting cpd23, I’ve been thinking that next year when I commence my reign as El Jefe of LISSA (our ALA student chapter), I’d like to try to get new and current students to link up their blogs so that we can all have a base audience. And then hopefully from there, students can start to develop contacts out on the interwebs. I see this as sort of a combination of the old and the new–an extensive base of people we know, extending out into a web of people we connect with digitally. At any rate, it’s nice to feel like someone is reading this stuff. Otherwise I might as well be my angsty fourteen-year-old self on Livejournal. Yikes.
Overall, cpd23 has been a great motivator for me to write on my blog so far. I’ve even got a non-cpd23 idea percolating! Stay tuned.