This blog was born for the purposes of my M.Ed. assignment, as a reflective journal to document my learning and reflections along the way. I can’t say that I have been the most attentive curator, especially in recent times when my motivation for actually seeing the process through to the end took a serious nosedive due to changes in job circumstances (see below). This situation still hasn’t improved or been resolved, but I would have been ashamed not to finish off the final module of my M.Ed, when, in the words of a good friend, the universe gave me the gift of time in which to do it! So I did it, and my dissertation on Learning Rounds is printed and bound and ready to be submitted tomorrow. Offering some final reflections, here are a few things I am pleased about with regard to the blog and a few things I wish I’d done better:
1. I’m pleased I started this blog, even though I haven’t been the most attentive blogger, as I mentioned before. It started life as a kind of online learning scrap-book I suppose, and if I hadn’t started it I would be scrambling about looking for articles in newspapers and journals and cutting, pasting and commenting the old fashioned way. This would have meant buying TESS and other newspapers ( something I don’t do, sorry!) or worse still, commenting on journal articles which I probably wouldn’t have had the right to share as the mostly aren’t openly available. I’m beginning to think that this is a bit of a scandal going on – and I’ve mentioned this before in this blog; how publically funded research sometimes seems to appear in subscription-only journals. However, back to the point; for me this blog was a convenient, instant, paper and cost-free way to document my thinking and comment on things that are relevant to me so for that reason it has been a useful tool.
2. It was also praised in a previous assignment as being an innovation which may have implications for the future of the M.Ed. course, so for that reason also, I’m happy I did it.
3.It has opened up a whole network of edu-bloggers who share their work and their thinking – often much more valuable to me than what I can find in the printed press.
4. I think it will have life beyond the M.Ed. Unlike a paper document which may have been submitted along with my dissertation, I know I will continue to try to add to this blog. it’s public, it’s out there, and I feel a bit responsible for it now so it’s unlikely to be mothballed, but I am going to have a holiday for a wee while – I’ll get back to it late August.
5. I wish I’d take more time to post in it, especially in the later stages, but circumstances were difficult and I was in the throes of data gathering and writing up anyway, so it maybe wasn’t realistic to expect reflective documentation at this stage.
6. I want to do the research again! I have so many reflections on this final stage I will need to write another post. I have felt at times consumed by this research, at times alienated from it and at other times really wondering if it is all worth the trouble for the difference it will make. I felt extremely amateurish in the beginning – this improved as the process evolved, but I would love to do it all again, having had a taste of a start-to-finish project, and having greater awareness of what is really involved.
7. I have no expectations that anyone will want to read this study, but as a blogger I now feel it’s my responsibility to make it available in electronic form, so I might take a leaf out of Ian Guest’s book and publish it on a google site – he did this for his M.Ed and it’s a great way to share knowledge and make visible your learning ( a La John Hattie).
8. Finally, and in relation to the above point, I do hope that my efforts won’t have been in vain, and that what I’ve done might offer a little guidance to interested educators who are engaging or experimenting with Learning Rounds. Better wait to see if I pass before I go sharing anything though. It will appear here if I do.
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