CPD23: Sharing our experiences of the programme

Thursday 21st July saw my first ‘local’ #cpd23 catch up with my colleagues (Jonas couldn’t make it but I’d had a chat with him last Monday). Elena has been blogging about her experiences with the programme, as has Sarah and Jonas. If you read any of them, you’ll see that we all have quite different views on web tools, social networking, reflective practice and indeed what constitutes professionalism, or more prominently, unprofessionalism.

One major question that the discussion threw out is that perhaps in order to actually gain any benefits from the programme, it would have been more prudent to do the reflective practice ‘thing’ first. What do you want to get out of doing CPD23? What are your expectations? How are you going to manage yourself doing the programme? This was a particular issue for Sarah and indeed Jonas who perhaps due to age (am I being ageist?) are more ‘immediate’ in their approach to their working lives. Perhaps lessons learned by myself and Elena, mean that we’re more inclined to push ourselves into writing a PDP and using reflective practice to guide our working lives into something that includes job satisfaction and perhaps ‘the’ career. In other words to make things happen,  rather than waiting for things to happen to us.

Ok, moving on……After a discussion about the benefits of Twitter, the following points were raised:

  • Is it not a bit sad that you have to tweet someone who works over a 100 miles away to make yourself feel better?

My response to this is NO! Both myself and Elena are tweeps and have discovered the supportive and information sharing benefits of the network. Using Twitter professionally isn’t about making yourself better, it is about information sharing sometimes, brainstorming sometimes, ranting sometimes and getting support sometimes. It is also about sharing your professional work. It can also include a few tweets about gin!

  • Is having Twitter open at work unprofessional?

Again, NO! We discussed how ‘being professional’ seems to be an individual thing, however I did point out that information sharing could not possibly be unprofessional in a library. Please remember to use responsibly would be my only disclaimer.

  • What is the point of having these connections?

This is actually a valid point, and the main reason that I embarked on #cpd23. It is important to consider why you want to have connections whether thats LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+ (notice that I haven’t listed FB). Reflect on the question ‘what can this network do for me?’

  • On Google+, does the world need another social networking site?

My personal knee jerk reaction is no, but then I also thought that about Twitter initially. The key point raised by Elena is to keep asking yourself  ‘what can this tool do for me?’ Elena had already joined Google+ and was able to demonstrate what it looked like and how you could interact with people. This is a trial period for the site, and also as a new thing, is very much in the early stages both technically wise, and participant wise. Elena explained that the idea behind Google+ is to bring profiles to one place so that it won’t matter if you’re on a mixture of networking sites. This could be quite useful. However its appearance seems to be very FBish and I enjoy the immediacy of Twitter and the text restriction to be honest, but thats personal.

So to wrap this up, we discussed that the programme was about what each individual makes of it. We are all engaging with it at a different pace, but hopefully everyone is getting something out of it. Again, reflective practice – keep evaluating and making an action plan. This is key.

The opinions expressed are my own, not any of the persons mentioned, and although this is meant as a reflection, I sincerely hope that I haven’t offended anyone.

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2 thoughts on “CPD23: Sharing our experiences of the programme

  1. Hi Venessa,
    Thank you for blogging this and for organising the meeting. It was really useful to get together and exchange impressions about our experiences with CPD23 and with web tools in general.
    I agree that some of the concerns raised were very valid and they illustrate the complexities of managing your personal learning, particularly online. We are all so busy nowadays there really isn’t any point spending time on a social network if you don’t think you’ll get anything out of it. The value of a programme like CPD23 is that it gives you the opportunity to discover and evaluate this tools, so you can make an informed decision. Like I said yesterday, when I first heard of Twitter c.2008 I dismissed it for being a lot of nonsense. After some time I decided to give it a try, but it still took me a while to get the hang of it. Today it’s probably my favourite tool for picking up information. I like the fact that it’s open and direct (and short!) and you can dip in and out of it depending on your availability.
    I’m also still undecided on Google+ and I’ll probably will be for a while. One thing I have noticed is that we all seem to have become obsessed with assessing the usefulness of tools in record time. Complex tools like Google+ or the extinct Google Wave (http://wave.google.com) – which I really liked and hope will become standard functionality in other sites – have so many layers, I don’t see how it’s possible to evaluate their suitability in a matter of minutes, hours or even days. I have found several times that I created accounts for tools like Delicious, Flickr or the Twitter example I just mentioned, abandoned them for months thinking they were not for me and then returned to them once I figured out how they could be helpful. Since then I have been a regular user.
    So, yes, I agree with your conclusion, it’s all about reflective practice and learning from your experiences. Also people and situations change and what may not suit today could be a valuable tool tomorrow 🙂

  2. Pingback: CPD23: Skipping Things « Scarlettlibrarian's Blog

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