At first it seemed odd to cover reflective practice at such an early point in the program. It quickly became obvious that routine reflection is an important part of any experience, and is a skill that should be utilized throughout any professional development activity. The value of reflective practice is obvious, I think, because without reflection we have no sense of connection to what we are doing/learning. The CPD23 post for this week outlines reflective practice as an iterative three step process: Recall it, Evaluate it, and Apply it.
The first two things we embarked on in this program were fairly straightforward. We introduced ourselves and explored the blogs of our fellow participants. There isn’t much to reflect on except perhaps some thoughts about how I’d do things differently in the future. I would have written a better first post that was a better introduction to who I am and my motivations. I would also have used a more careful method for viewing the blogs of participants. In the first week I resorted to random browsing from the alphabetic list, and this wasn’t always successful. I now have several blogs that I follow, I use the RSS feed, and occasionally search Twitter for #cpd23. These methods seem to be more successful for viewing the blogs of active participants.
Thing 3 was about branding and your online identity. I learned the many ways to use the Internet for branding and found some great sites that I wasn’t aware of before. I enjoyed the experience of self-evaluation and trying to formalize my personal brand. I wouldn’t say that anything worked well or went wrong because Thing 3 was more about self-discovery than anything else. I wouldn’t change anything about the experience. I know that I can use this in my current role as job hunter because many employers are interested in how you come across online. It has also helped me to define my own goals and interests in the field, which has made me a more focused job searcher. The practical application I can take from this reflection is to constantly monitor my brand, to keep it consistent, and to use tools such as LinkedIn and my personal website to continue my development. Hopefully these branding skills will bring value to my future workplace because I’ll be able to apply the same principles to their brand.
Thing 4 was about awareness and learning about relevant social media tools. I had started this process on my own when I joined Twitter and began using Google Reader, but I hadn’t thought as clearly about how these tools could be applied to my professional development. I learned about the different ways other librarians are using these tools, and I explored some new sites like Delicious that I would like to use in the future. I enjoyed the opportunity to find some new friends on Twitter and also to find new resources for keeping current on LIS news and info. I have yet to give Pushnote another shot, and I think this is something I should try. I also know that I need to spend more time on Delicious. I have already made some actionable changes as a result of Week 4. I realized that my Twitter was sometimes becoming too personal and I have made a conscious effort to use Twitter more as a tool for my LIS networking and development rather than a place to follow my favorite chefs and basketball players. I don’t think I have the time or energy to make a separate personal Twitter account, so for now I am happy to still follow people related to my personal interests but to keep my personal Tweets to a minimum.
Reflective practice is incredibly useful, and I think it’s something that gets overlooked because our lives always seem busy. Making time for reflection is important as it allows you to really process experiences and to make purposeful choices based off those experiences. I had several projects in library school that required some type of reflection about the process, and I appreciated the opportunity to complete reflections of my work. I think that reflective practice is a skill that is important to information literacy because it helps you to retain information and to make changes that will last.