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So here we are and we have come to the last post. By far this has been my favorite unit this semester. We started by being introduced to the concept of the community of inquiry and I think the unit well-succeeded in its purpose. I feel I have learnt much from our learning community and in a way that was much more interactive than just listening to a lecture – as I mention below this was active as opposed to passive learning. Hopefully we all managed to live up to the spirit of the above poster (which I love) and be ‘wide-awake, intelligent men and women’:D
I wanted to be a conduit for conversation and debate in our community this semester. I tried to contribute toward a respectful, fun, non-judgmental and collegial atmosphere and I think I achieved my part. I found it easy to do and I think most people would say the same. I was just myself. I learnt much from my peers and lecturers and I hope at times they learnt from me. How many comments did I make on my peers’ blogs? Probably not enough. Enough for the criteria, but I realize that was not the point. The blogs I read I enjoyed and was surprised by. Even when someone agrees with you they have a different way of looking at a topic so you end up getting a more 360 degree view. It would have been an average of 3/4 comments per blog entry. I tried to reflect how much effort the person put into their comment or blog with my own comment. I thought the general quality of the work was great: thought-provoking, engaging and well-thought out. When I commented I tried to expand upon the concepts my peer had described. The general trends I noticed were the future of librarianship and how much will be expected from librarians in the near future and beyond. I tended to comment more on that – it is an area we will be directly impacted on, after all.
I had never used Twitter until this semester. I have a healthy level of distrust for social media and I’m a very private person, plus Trump had killed it for me. So it wasn’t a good start. Aside from that, the only concerns I had were regarding how quickly I would get accustomed to using it in time for the Twitter chats. But I must say that the self-same chats changed my mind. I was probably overwhelmed on the first one (I suspect most of us were) but once I got the flow I started enjoying it and saw the use of it. I could never believe how quickly the sessions passed and the amount I learnt just from comments here and there. There is a certain expediency of communication when you know you don’t have time (or words) to waste. Most comments were right on point and a distillation of exactly what the person intended. Other than the Twitter chats I haven’t used it much. That being said, I can definitely see the networking uses of Twitter and I prefer it to Facebook.
The key aspect I took away from this unit was that I am responsible for my own learning and for taking ownership of what I learn. Often that involves seeking the knowledge I need and taking a ‘jumping off’ proactive approach. This means having initiative and engaging in active as opposed to passive learning. It sounds simple, but it isn’t. It entails understanding that I don’t need to wait to learn something, there are no prescribed stages or ‘one way’ of doing something. Ironically, I understood that as I was back at University.
I could have made more comments on other student’s blogs. I could have read more blogs. I could have done more work, done more readings. I am aware I am very much a kinesthetic learner and I prefer to do things as opposed to reading about them. I also relied on my ability to pick things up quickly. Consequently some things were a little bit rushed, a little bit last minute. I know I am capable of better quality work. I think in general I participated and got involved, specially in the Twitter chats and in class. My strengths? I think I’m a good writer, which definitely helps. I’m eloquent and know how to express ideas. I could generate conversation in the Twitter chats and ask questions as opposed to finding one absolute answer. My weaknesses were that I didn’t ask enough questions, do enough research…critical thinking was one of the aims of this unit and I know I could have done more of that. As obvious as it sounds, in order to improve I need to push myself more. My technological know-how needs to continue to improve. This is something that as a librarian I will need to be diligent about.
Thank you everyone for your thoughts and participation in this community journey.