Redefining Learning in my organisation

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In the Week 6 readings we are also encouraged to aim towards ‘redefining’ learning in our work contexts. That is, we should try to transform learning through technology. This is a step further than just using technology to ‘substitute’, ‘augment’ or ‘modify’, traditional methods of learning (as outlined in the SAMR model).

In one of my previous posts, I considered using SharePoint as a tool for implementing networked learning in my organisation. One way that this tool can enable learning to be redifined, is through its documents management, wiki and online comments features.

My students are geographically dispersed and we currently do not have a tool established which enables our students to all interact online to review documents easily and share and record their input, in relation to our particular area of work. While a similar activity can be achieved through emails – with staff sending documents to each other with comments in tracked changes – it becomes messy when there are more than a couple of individuals editing the document. The SharePoint enables large groups to share their ideas and provide input into documents in real-time. We have a few hundred students who could be invited to provide feedback on new draft procedures (as discussed in my previous post) to enhance them, and SharePoint is an ICT tool that has the capacity to redefine this learning activity.

Below are some visuals showing ways SharePoint can enable us to redefine out interactions and learning:

 

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SharePoint as a collaborative tool

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My previous post got me thinking about online collaborative tools for use in my work environment to support networked learning.

SharePoint is a tool used in many organisations and is one that I have seen used effectively to enhance online interactions on key projects or for groups of professions in a ‘professional network’ or community of practice’ environment.  Some brief uses and benefits of this tool are cited here and here.

I hope to delve further into this tool for Assignment 2.

This tool may also be of interest to other course participants in non-traditional education contexts.

Why is Blogging so useful for reflection and learning?

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Associate Professor Jill Walker Rettberg has discussed how Blogging is a useful tool for reflection and learning in her paper available in the E-Pedagogy for Teachers in Higher Education Virtual Book – available here .

Some of these reasons she suggests that blogging is helpful for learning and reflection include:

* It helps us to communicate our thoughts more clearly and our thoughts are more carefully considered because we know that it is for an audience

*Blogging makes it easier to practice writing – it is quick and easy to post our thoughts online and respond to external ideas through blogs. Also, because others will read and respond our posts, we are more inclined to better spelling, grammar and punctuation.

*It increases our confidence in writing and learning because we are actually creating and publishing something (higher order learning)

*It enables Peer Review and Reflection – We produce better work and help others do the same through being able to give and receive feedback quickly and easily through Blogs. We are also able then to reflect on, edit and reshape our ideas online.

Walker Rettberg then went on to discuss how she used blogging in her own classes, leading by example, just as David Jones has done throughout this NGL course.

As a student, this paper has provided me with some further theoretical underpinnings for why I have found blogging so useful in this course and why I have benefitted from following our course convenor’s own blog.

It was also great to read another post on the FutureLearningMusings on the same topic and which explores some other aspects of blogging.


Reference

Walker Rettberg, J. Blogging as a Tool for Reflection and Learning. In A. Karin Lars & G. Oline Hole. (Eds.), E-Pedagogy for Teachers in Higher Education. Bergen, Norway: Bergen University College. Retrieved from http://www.virclass.net/eped/ep_tmp/files/17842056574abc85cdf304e.pdf

CQM Toolbox – a practical strategy for networked learning in the business sector

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I came across a short article published back in 1997 in Industry Week magazine titled ‘CQM Toolbox’ which looks at learning modules for Senior Executive run by a Centre for Quality Management. The article provides what I consider to be a rather progressive view (in comparison with my personal experience in the workplace) of incorporating networked learning to achieve improved business outcomes. The article discusses a range of networked learning strategies which work alongside traditional workplace training delivery methods of workshops, courses and seminars. These networked activities include user groups, study groups and ‘peer to peer networking roundtables’ which are intended to act as ‘support systems’ for implementing new initiatives, overcoming hurdles and to initiate discussions to develop new ideas and improved ways of doing business!(“CQM Toolbox”, 1997, p.30)

While the article doesn’t specifically refer to networked activities in the online space, I can see that there are opportunities here for my work context (as a teacher). With many of the key Government agencies situated in Canberra, it would be possible to set up some sort of face-to-face cross-agency roundtable, perhaps with videoconferencing to international agencies or using a secure online meeting place (e.g. a Ning). This could be used to assist my section to better implement our current training program and also  as a way to keep across ‘best practice’ approaches in the field, going forward. I suppose this is essentially the same as creating a Professional Learning Network or Community of Practice.

RDECOM launches communities of practice by RDECOM, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  RDECOM 

As a student, I can see this is very much what we are doing here in the NGL course – creating a Community of Practice or Professional Learning Network using WordPress and Diigo as platforms for this – we are using each others posts to spark new ways of doing things or to overcome hurdles (e.g. Paul’s response to one of my earlier posts). Whether I will be able to use these same online tools in my workplace will be at the mercy of our Department IT security team – as it is important that our work discussions remain confidential, something which can be tricky in the online space. Something for me to pursue further down the track.

References

Clifford, M (2013). 20 Tips for Creating a Professional Learning Network. Retrieved from http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/20-tips-for-creating-a-professional-learning-network/#ixzz3BeH9m6f1

CQM toolbox. (1997). Industry Week/IW, 246(13), 30.

University of Southern Queensland. (2013). Communities of Practice. Retrieved from https://www.usq.edu.au/cops

Personal Knowledge Management – How do I do it?

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I have tried to map out my PKM routine in the table below. In general, the tools listed are those which I have already used in my studies, with the addition of tools such as Diigo, Mendeley and Feedly which I have only just started using thanks to this course.  The ‘Share’ component of the table is an area which I have little experience with. The tools listed here are more so the ones which I would ‘like’ to use, rather than what I am currently using.  I feel that I do not yet have all the knowledge and skills to use some of the listed tools such as diigo, mendeley, twitter, for the purposes of sharing my learning with others. But I am confident that as undertake further research, view how other members of this course are using these applications, and start having a go myself, I will be able to comfortably and effectively use NGL tools.

I also hope to add more actions, strategies and tools as I broaden my understanding of NGL over the coming months.

Reference

Jarche, Harold. (2011). PKM – Personal Knowledge Mastery. Retrieved from http://www.jarche.com/pkm/

Personal Knowledge Management Actions/Critical Thinking Tools/Strategies
SEEK Research

Gathering Evidence

Analytical Thinking

Organising sources and notes

Identifying gaps

Speed reading

Google Search

Google Scholar

Online Libraries and Books

Journals

Hard Copy notes and readings

Study Desk

Feedly

Diigo

Mendeley

Follow the posts of other course participants

SENSE Note taking

Mind mapping

Talking with others

Reflection

Considering options

Hypothesizing

Formulating arguments

Writing and reviewing

Word docs and electronic note pad

Bookmarking

Diigo

Mendeley

Follow the posts of other course participants

SHARE Talking with others

Posting online

Sharing notes and references

Blogs

Study desk

Diigo

Mendeley

Facebook

Twitter