There is no blog post for the second meeting as it took place online and was based on personal conversations around progress and barriers faced, however, everyone found the conversation useful and supportive. We covered questions and answers together with discussion around Core Area 2: Teaching and Learning.
We picked up some of these threads up at the start of our next face-to-face meeting to get started and common barriers seem to persist: time (never, ever enough), prioritising what some perceived as ‘personal’ CPD, difficulties around writing, difficulties around sourcing evidence, worries about writing too much or too little.
Discussions within the whole group surfaced the following strategies to help navigate these barriers:
- Setting aside a dedicated time such as first thing in the morning
- Finding a space away from the desk – this is crucial to avoid interruptions
- Don’t worry about too many words at this stage, it is always easier to edit down the word count than to get the words down on the page in the first place
- Try to find the best example for evidence not just ‘an’ example
- The cohort itself – supportive, common problems shared, motivating
Next up was a mapping exercise on the third area Wider Context, once everyone had completed their personal map there was a group discussion on the different aspects of this and how everyone has very different experiences. We covered how the policy option wasn’t applicable for some and how this can be solved by the inclusion of two legislative topics. The open discussion was really helpful and we all came away a bit clearer on this area. The introduction of GDPR provided many with a new avenue for this.
After some coffee and cake we turned to looking at identities and reflection through the use of LEGO® Serious Play®. The first individual activity focused on what each person saw or thought of their ‘super power’ in their role as a professional involved in learning technology in order to get ideas flowing regarding the Specialist Option and Contextual Statement. The group build went on to explore the barriers we experience and core values within learning technology. Again there were three brilliant creations, each one revealing new perspectives during the reflective feedback. We covered the facets of what makes a good learning technologist, we focused on all the components of the role and how we engaged with different types of people and the skills learning technologists bring to the table and the desired outcomes.
Serious play with @LEGOSERIOUSPLAY today @A_L_T_NI and #CMALT – great craic! Identifying our core values and common themes as learning technologists 🤗🌟 pic.twitter.com/LoyFhLFIxd
— Stefanie Campbell (@Stefedu123) March 1, 2019
Learning with Lego in today's #CMALT meeting for identity and reflection! @A_L_T_NI #CreativeLearning pic.twitter.com/jatatoGWvg
— Shannon Boyce (@ShannonBoyce036) March 1, 2019
As always, cake is a key ingredient in any workshop …
@A_L_T @A_L_T_NI Bundt cake and #lego serious play with @ClareThomsonQUB and @craigdooley – what more could a person want?? pic.twitter.com/xQJQg8xtI3
— Aideen (@AideenGibson) March 1, 2019
The LEGO building worked its magic on the group and fabulous builds triggered rich discussions about each person’s unique talents and job requirements and how best to bring these out in the portfolio. Despite the reflective element of the portfolio option causing the most problems for people, during this hands on workshop it flowed naturally and easily. I hope everyone can now channel that into their portfolios.
“the walled garden of the unwanted.”, just one of the metaphors of the day
It is incredible to see that not only are we not losing people as we go through this journey, we are actually still growing and it is definitely not too late to join and catch up with us. We have two more structured meetings left in this cycle of workshops, the first Friday of April (online and will cover Specialist Option in detail) and the first Friday of May (face-to-face). Please use the contact form on the site if you would like to join us.
Useful resources for reflective practice
To bring this post to a close here are a few resources to further help with reflective writing.
- A toolkit created by the University of Edinburgh (resources for both teacher and student)
- An animated video by the University of Hull
- A Wakelet of the #HEAchat/#LTHEchat – Reflection in Learning and Teaching
See you all in April and keep writing …
Craig and Clare