“INN333 Journey” Reflection
Looking back upon my professional learning journey throughout this ‘INN333 Information Programs’ course, I have nothing except interesting, engaging and positive experiences to take away.
In Week 1, while listening and reading the course profile and description, I was both excited and filled with slight trepidation. Reflecting on my thoughts then, I was unsure about engaging with so many various information programs, tools and technology. My experiences prior to this semester have been quite limited, with a few select social media tools that were the exception, such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, I was partly concerned about maintaining a positive and professional “online” presence.
However, despite seeing this as a challenge (from Day 1), during each week, this perception did not seem to change. Particularly in understanding and playing with ’image mashup’ exploring the information program was a demanding, however the view of “challenges” developed a positive, rather than daunting, perspective. Even in moments, such as creating an app (which was often confusing), it was a positive experience. Especially as I usually achieved something and made progress in some way with understanding the program. Throughout this course, I enjoyed “stepping outside of my comfort zone”, despite the challenges.
The learning environment, which was a mixture of physical classes, BlackBoard, blogging and social media participation, was an effective way to be involved in the course. I thought that having this course style was new, but valuable because it allowed for multiple “snapshots of exploration” with activities throughout the semester. In particular, it seemed to cater for the broad scope of ‘information programs’, as well as being supportive of students who require flexibility during the week. I view that this style was reflective of current working and learning styles, which encourage collaboration and being “up-to-date”. The resources available were particularly valuable and helpful, with a mixture of modes presented, like articles, videos, and a definition to position the content of the week.
At times it felt like the collaborative platforms of Facebook and Twitter was an insightful supplement to engaging with the ideas raised of that week. Reading what people wrote and thought about was interesting and engaging. From participating in these discussions, I was reminded of the important awareness that everyone perceives things differently, and therefore has unique experiences with the same technology. Subsequently, it is not feasible to assume all people felt the same each week when approaching the content, and took away what you did. I think that the sharing evidence in this forum was achievable because of the “openness” encouraged by our collective course group. Facebook acted as a space for curating material and participating in discussions.
If this was a year long course, and was used as a professional learning base, I think it would be interesting to focus upon creating databases and websites. As well as perhaps, Microsoft Excel and Access programs. As I think this course was designed well to be a valuable opportunity to familiarise individuals with programs. As well as act as a “launch pad” for further learning, and therefore I consider it has the potential to address information literacy gaps. Particularly, if these gaps were able to be communicated and shared openly in a supportive online environment.
On reflecting upon my overall experience during the semester, I liked that you could critically and creatively engage with the focus on content and tasks at a comfortable pace, and later reflect upon the experience. Even if I do not continuously use all of the information programs I have explored this semester, I am convinced of tis value and application in various learning and organisational contexts. Especially if they are designed to support the needs of the user groups, such as in app design and ‘gamification’. I hope to continue blogging, as I feel it was helpful to monitor and improve my reflective practice. I think that it would have been more helpful if I had engaged more on Facebook and Twitter, and balance my individual engagement with collaboration.
Throughout the past semester, I have felt that participating by either completing, commenting or sharing ideas related to the week content has helped improve my information literacy skills, communication and technological awareness. Particularly, by consolidating the declarative knowledge, with the practical experiences and skills. The ‘play’ activity frequently required the user to engage proactively to find, and understand how to use a program. Exploration was therefore a gradual expectation of each week. Even in the beginning weeks of exploring Twitter, it was an instance where I realised that having a wide awareness of the capabilities of a program can improve its value. Despite having used Twitter, albeit infrequently for six months prior, I learnt and understood a greater application for Twitter in professional learning and organisational communication.
Lifelong learning is incredibly important for maintaining current within an individual’s professional practice. Change is continuous, and therefore requires adaptation and adjusting paradigms to perceive the new ideas and the altering environment in a different, open and creative light. As an student information professional, exploring new applications to manage information and support learning appears to be essential in today’s society.