Critical Reflection

 

 

 

‘We’re preparing students for jobs that don’t exist.’

 

It’s funny when I think of it. This phrase that’s often been uttered on the frontlines of progressive secondary institutions and technology-based professional development conferences certainly applies to my own study under CSU’s Master of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation).

 

When I started the program, I had a really limited idea of the jobs that could be attained. Since then, doors have opened and my fellow students and I have been eligible to acquire some fantastic roles related to the field of knowledge networking and digital innovation.

More recently, I applied for a job as a ‘Blended Learning Advisor’ at Griffith University. It was only after a few weeks into our first assessment on digital scholarship that I realised I hadn’t targeted the cover letter to accurately highlight my ever-evolving skillset. Being from a secondary education background and seeking a new challenge, I didn’t yet have the knowledge of the struggles tertiary institutions felt with open, digital and networked content (Weller, 2011) that would be uncovered in this first assessment. I’m chalking this up to a tangible learning experience that I’ll be better prepared for should another similar role pop up.

The idea of a digital scholar/educator has really resonated with me since working on that first assessment. The term seems more encompassing than that of a ‘connected educator’ and I think it applies more accurately to what we’ve been doing throughout the course. I’ve relished the opportunity to publish work in a digital form. Creating video’s and Padlets , for example, have enabled others to access my learnings as well as presented me with the opportunity to gain feedback from a wider audience. One of the intangibles that I’ve extremely valued is the growth of my professional learning network as a result of my studies. The ability to  “learn anytime, anywhere, with potentially anyone around the world” (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011, p. 2). Within this subject, I’ve hosted a Twitter chat regarding Assessment 1 where I contributed to discussions and analysis, and have (virtually) met with members of my PLN to discuss readings. 

 

Jacques du Toit proving that readings, discussions, and PLNs can be fun!

While this course is not ‘open’ so to speak, it has embraced these principles which I believe has driven our learning further. At its heart, is the emphasis to encourag[e] learners to share what they know, and construct knowledge together (Price, 2013, p.37). And while I value it and I walk this talk… it, unfortunately, corresponded to an immensely difficult time for me. Clicking the submit button on Assessment 1 seemed like a signal for all members of my family to get sick and work to rev up the intensity. I shifted into what White (n.d.) calls visitor mode. Here, I lurked and consumed but never made much of an attempt to participate. The real sad thing is that I know what I’ve missed out on. The continued strengthening of my PLN and the valuable feedback from my peers on Assessment 3! I feel like my case study may have ended up in a hundred different directions but alas, we can’t dwell on these things. Exploring the Yr 12s attitudes towards their technology use provided some really interesting insights that I look forward to sharing with them and our leadership team. Looking back, I really appreciated the opportunity to work on something that could impact the future learners of my institution.     

So while most of our cohort is suiting up for graduation, I’ll be suiting up to complete a triathalon… I mean trimester. That’s right, one more subject for this weary digital scholar and then I’ll don the pointy hat with the thingamajig on the end!

 

See you next time!

 

 

References

 

Price, D. (2013). Open: How we’ll work, live and learn in the future. Crux.

 

Richardson, W., & Mancabelli, R. (2011). Personal learning networks: Using the power of connections to transform education. Moorabbin, Victoria:  Solution Tree Press.

 

Weller, M. (2011). The digital scholar: How technology is transforming scholarly practice [Kindle version]. A&C Black.

White, D. (n.d.). Visitors & Residents. Retrieved from http://daveowhite.com/vandr/

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