Posts Tagged ‘Knowledge’

Blog Post One – INF536

Here is my desk area in my study. For someone who feels such pride in being organised in all things work related, it is extremely messy and I often find myself sitting here for long periods Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.19.06 pmof time trying to find ‘that document’ or ‘that photograph’. My study is tucked away in the middle of the house, with no natural light entering in. It also seems to have turned into the storage room since having our baby. Not only do we both have a desk in there but also a piano and two sets of clothing drawers that are unable to fit anywhere else. I have all of the equipment I need for it to be a successful space for personal learning. I have my devices (MacBook and iPad), my cameras, printer/scanner, paper, stationery and a large charging doc, but the area is such a mess that I wouldn’t know where to find each item without going exploring.

SoScreen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.18.57 pm, where do I begin when wanting to redesign this space? Carroll (p.15-16, 2014) describes design thinking as being ‘…an innovative, human centred approach to defining and solving complex problems… that encompasses active problem solving and believing in one’s ability to create impactful change.’ This encourages us to look at design thinking in relation to people rather than buildings or items, and focus on who is going to be the user of the space. In my case, when redesigning my desk area, I am the user and myself (and hopefully my grades) will see the impact.

When looking into why design thinking is so important, Brown (2009), ascertains that ‘society needs a new approach to innovation which aligns the needs of human beings and tScreen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.20.49 pmhe natural world.’ Once again, focusing on the needs of human beings and ‘consumer experiences (Brown, 2009). Karatko, et al (2012), state that the design process allows us to then ‘play, display and watch the replay’ or enable us to process ideas, try them out, give and receive feedback, make adjustments and continue through this cycle.

With this in mind I thought about what I wanted to achieve from redesigning this space. I wanted (needed) to be more organised so I bought new folders to file paperwork and photographs away. Each of these folders needed to be labeled and dated so that I know where to look when in a hurry. These are stored underneath my desk so that they are easily accessible and have clip on lids that my daughter won’t be able to open without assistance. Likewise, everScreen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.21.05 pmything stored under my desk is locked down or of no harm to my daughter. This instantly put me at ease in this learning space, as I know she can crawl around without getting harmed by materials I have close to the ground.

Kuratko, et al (2012), state that ‘design is the process that converts ideas into form, whether that is a plan of action or a physical thing.’ To cover both of these areas I needed to plan what to change and do it… and that is easier said than done. It took a full week to file away all of the paperwork I had lying around, and only then could I move on to sorting through the materials I needed to keep and storing resources that are not of current benefit or interest to me.

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The next step was to create a visual goal chart for myself, so that I stay on top of my university work and general organisation of my desk area. I therefore created a canvas with a range of drawings on it. Each night, after completing some university work and tidying my area, I get to colour one area of the drawing in. It’s going to take me a long time to finish it (I stopped counting at 213 different areas), but I know it will create good habits in me if I continue with it. I also created a whiteboard calendar so assist in organizing our hectic lives. This works as a visual display for both my husband and I to use when committing to events.

I moved the printer / scanner out of the corner of my desk so that I have a designated space for my other devices and therefore room for paper and pen to jot down notes. I bought a large medicine ball to sit on so that I can move constantly, although so far I have been alternating between that and my swivel chair due to poor posture (on the chair).

I made my space homely by adding a few photographs of my family and created a playlist of relaxing music that will enable me to work but not get distracted (so far so good, although my relaxing music may be very different to the typical Mozart, etc).

Finally, I have allowScreen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.21.38 pmed myself a ‘distraction space’. This is a timed space where I can have a break from the work I am doing. Whether it be playing a game online, drawing on some paper, sorting through photographs or checking my phone, I allow myself five minutes before getting back into it. I have also ordered an adult colouring book online and plan on using that when I need a mind-numbing distraction for a few minutes. I hope it comes soon!!!

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Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. Harper Business. p.37.

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in innovation acceleration: Transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson.

Scott-Webber, L. (2012). Institutions, educators, and designers: Wake up!: Current teaching and learning places along with teaching strategies are obsolete-teaching styles and learning spaces must change for 21st-century needs. Planning for Higher Education. 41(1), 265-277.

And What A Journey It Has Been

600 words to summarise my personal learning and involvement in the subject does not seem to be enough. Surely that will barely touch the sides… Therefore I will focus on the key components that have stuck with me.

The module I enjoyed the most was Module 3: Knowledge Networks – Connected communities, open access, and connected learning. This module covered a range of areas I am already highly involved with, so to delve into the topic deeper was highly interesting and engaging. Chapter 4 of Conole’s (2012) book, Designing For Learning in an Open World was shared with us and after reading through it I found myself purchasing the whole book. Although it was written in 2012 and technology advances at an alarming rate, I found Conole’s writings to be very relevant of the learning happening in our schools currently; not only with the students but with the teachers as well.

One of the discussions that arose from this module was about open, social and participatory media. I remember looking through some of the comments and feeling overwhelmed by the detail some of my fellow students had gone into. How on earth could I match that? But reading on from there I found some comments more at my level of research and understanding.

After writing a comment myself (see below image), I was enlightened to see some of the responses. Having had minimal comments on my blog posts, it felt great to be heard and have some interaction with fellow students. In saying that, there was plenty of interaction with my peers on Twitter using #INF530 to communicate.

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A big focus of this unit has been on how 21st century technologies have changed education. Although the role of the teacher may differ from previous years, Godsey (2015) stresses that teachers still hold the position of motivators, creators and facilitators. The 21st century focus on problem based, child based, real life related, creative inquiry and play based learning is magnified with the introduction of connected learning and digital technologies. It needs to be stressed, however, that the focus is on good pedagogy, rather than the technology that is being used. The technology is simply a tool to assist in good teaching and learning (Crockett, 2012).

I consider myself to be a big Twitter user, however, going back through the hashtag (INF530) has lead me to believe that my peers tweet more than me. I would often find myself looking through posts or resources posted by someone else. or reading through their replies to one-another without being able to add to the discussion. I am looking forward to future units as I now know what to expect. The goal next semester with be to stay ahead of the modules. This way I will be able to post my ideas and immediately, unlike this semester where I have jumped onto the discussion forums only to find my question already answered or my thoughts already voiced.

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I have to admit that I only enjoyed the second of the major assignments required in this unit, the digital essay. Although we got to choose our book for the book review, I felt rushed and wasn’t entirely happy with my finished assignment. In a way it was a good experience as it encouraged me to do better in the digital essay. Only time will tell if that belief comes to fruition. The digital essay was also more enjoyable as it allowed me to explore Module 3 and social media use in education in even more detail.

Moving forward with the rest of my Masters, I feel more prepared and have expectations of what the upcoming units with bring. I truly believe I made the right decision by dropping one of my units early on. It was difficult enough to work though the content of one subject with a newborn baby let alone two. A big thanks to Judy for being so understanding and available to me throughout this unit.


Churches, A., Crockett, L., & Jukes, I. Literacy is not enough: 21st century fluencies for the digital age. Corwin Press: San Francisco.

Conole, G. (2012). Designing for learning in an open world. Springer: New York, NY.

Godsey, M. (2015). Deconstruction of the K-12 teacher. The Atlantic. Retrieved from

Blog Task Three

It has been incredibly interesting and engaging reading through everyone’s blog posts. I’ve found myself getting carried away at times (whoops, forgot to cook dinner. Looks like we’ll be having takeaway). As a teacher who has only been out of university for just over three years, it is amazing to see the wealth of knowledge within this cohort. Reading through your thoughts and discussions has given me so many ideas to incorporate not only into my teaching but into my personal learning.

Posts like Andrew Dixon’s titled Things I should Have Listened To My Lecturer About #1 – An Ongoing Series, where he discusses how he should have been using Evernote. I hear you loud and clear Andrew!! It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels a little overwhelmed at times.

I felt drawn back to certain posts. One especially, where I wrote a quick comment and felt that I had not expanded enough or shared my own knowledge. So I returned and added yet another comment (sorry for the bombardment Linda Weeks). Or posts who used tools which I use often in the classroom but never thought of incorporating into my blog posts. Katherine Herbert used ThingLink on her blog Space For Thinking to show her comments. What a great idea!! And so I created my own.

Having to read through the blog posts as a required task has been enlightening to me. I’m looking forward to getting more involved in the coming weeks, through blog posts, comments and Twitter. Thanks for all your insights.