Reflective Journal

Category #4 – Reflective Journal Entry

“Persevering at online learning is also affected by computer and information literacy, time management…online communication skills…self-esteem…feelings of belongingness in the online program and the ability to develop interpersonal skills with peers”

Objective

This is another great quote from the book that is a mantra I say to myself every day. Persistence is captured in this quote that I use often –

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Thomas Edison

Spoken statement (c. 1903); published in Harper’s Monthly (September 1932).

Reflective

This quote is important to me as I have taken so many courses online including my MBA. It has been amazing but hard. The first advice I got was to “give up all your hobbies” and focus on the course using your spare time afterwards for other things – it was great advice. I liked the connection from the beginning with Skype call from Glenn and then the Skype call with a partner. It helped make the connection as sometimes you feel very alone when you are online. It is important to be connecting to the course and others. We were lucky to have many of us taking this course online at our company so we did have some offline pressure as well as you saw colleagues at work.

Interpretive

Time management is a soft skill that not everyone is good at. You really need to master this as you have no teacher keeping you on task. As the above quote states, it is essential in order to persevere in any course, particularly in online courses, where assignment completion is self-directed. Time management can be focused on explicitly in a course by having learners begin each course with a self-assessment of their own strategies and perceptions of their time management skills. In addition, learners can keep track by using the schedule that was provided for us on the first day of this program which I wish I used more!. Instructors can make this skill relevant for learners by connecting what is being learned in class. In any workplace or in any higher education setting, the ability to meet deadlines, manage time, be organized, plan ahead and prioritize tasks is important.
Decisional

While the reasons for taking online classes are many, online communication differs greatly from face-to-face communication. There is no room for elements of non-verbal and vocal communication such as tone, pitch, speed, and body language. You must persevere and manage your time well to be successful.

References

Quotes from Thomas Edison

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Thomas_Edison

Merriam, S.B., & Bierema, L.L. (2014). Jossey-Bass Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice.

Category #3 – Reflective Journal Entry

Merriam and Bierema (2014) in their book Adult Learning- Linking theory and Practice, state that the key perspective on learning and reflection is that– ‘learning from one’s experience involves not just reflection, but critical reflection’.

Objective

This is another great quote as self-awareness and critical reflection are so important. I always saw feedback is a gift and ask for it all the time in my class as it helps me with my reflection on what worked and what did not in my lessons. What works and what does not work is an ongoing practice and a good educator can do this on the fly when they have the experience. You are constantly monitoring the “track”, the “car” and the “situation” just like a Formula 1 driver one of my favourite sports.  After reflecting on my material, I may decide to change and rework my lesson, my activity or my plans and/or my life!.

Reflective
“When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That’s if you want to teach them to think.” ― Bertrand Russell

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/teaching

I love this quote and this man Bertrand Russell oozes reflection. You have to reflect on what you are doing in the classroom. You have to think. You have to make the students think. Learning happens when we learn to think. The best way to engage learners is to help them create connections of content in the context of things they have knowledge or experience about. These connections happen through reflection. We are very often averse to new ideas, especially those that can change or challenge our pre-formed beliefs and assumptions. Therefore, reflection may help us make connections between new ideas and assumptions but it may be still biased. We may be viewing and accepting new ideas with old glasses and not truly looking at them in the proper light.

Interpretive

Critical Reflection is the key to move us forward as educators, past our biases and assumptions and make us freely develop knowledge and use information in meaningful ways. Critical thinking is powerful and transformational.

Decisional

Critical reflection is the key to all learning. To be educated, is to be skilled in reflecting critically.

References

Quotes on Learning

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/teaching

Merriam, S.B., & Bierema, L.L. (2014). Jossey-Bass Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice.

Category #2 – Reflective Journal Entry

Over forty years ago, Rogers (1969) articulated the very contemporary notion that in this high-speed globalized world what is really crucial for survival is that we all become lifelong learners. He wrote that an educated person is one “who has learned how to learn…how to adapt and change” and realizes “that no knowledge is secure, that only the process of seeking knowledge gives a basis for security.”

Objective

I really like this quote. It speaks to my philosophy of lifelong learning. No knowledge is secure – things change quickly – just look at what i-tunes did to the music industry.

Reflective

It is so important to help manage change in the classroom and teach students to change. We need to learn new techniques to understand and deepen our understanding of learning to manage change, we need to understand learning theories and how they can be used in the classrooms. We need to be more creative and resourceful. I love the quote from the fist journal entry “Students need to be prepared as self-directed, lifelong learners “for jobs that do not yet exist, to use technologies that have not been invented, and to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet” (Darling-Hammond et all 2008 P.2 )(Quoted on P.5 Merriam and Bierema.

Interpretive

As educators we have a big responsibility to train our students in not just the content but in such ways that they are not daunted by new content, by the need to upgrade.

Decisional

Lifelong learning is not a choice, it is a necessity. Whether we realize it or not, we are all lifelong learners and thus learning how to learn can just train us, to do effectively, what we all do, all our lives- learn. We need to embrace change to learn.

References

Merriam, S.B., & Bierema, L.L. (2014). Jossey-Bass Adult Learning: Lin

Category #1 – Reflective Journal Entry

Our societies and economies have experienced a profound transformation from reliance on an industrial to a knowledge base. Global drivers increasingly bring to the fore what some call “21st century competencies” – including deep understanding, flexibility, and the capacity to make creative connections, a range of so-called “soft-skills” including good team working. The quantity and quality of learning thus become central, with the accompanying concern that traditional educational approaches are insufficient.” Dumont and Istane (2010)

Objective

I really like this quote. We always talk about the 21st century and how different things are from the past and our new knowledge economy where information increases as does our speed of access to it. Soft skills include good teamwork but also other things such as getting along with others, ethics and often referred to as people skills.

There is often discussion around emotional intelligence where the leaders of companies and projects for example need the soft and hard skills to do their jobs. As an educator it is important for me to keep up to the changes that surround me in the new economy where classrooms are flipped (videos are for homework and the students come to class to demonstrate understanding. – P.5 Merriam and Bierema) and people talk about bringing their own devices for example. Collectively educators need to look at these trends, understand them and make changes to the way we teach so the leaders of tomorrow will have the skills required to compete effectively. As educators we need to help our students to develop the skills to access current and reliable information, critically analyze it and be able to use that information in a logical and effective way.

Reflective

There is a greater need for instructors to help students be more creative in how they learn.  They need to know how to learn as the game changes so quickly. A quote in the book noted that “most professional preparation becomes outdated before one gets situated in a career. Hewlett Packard has estimated that what one learns in a Bachelor of Engineering Program is outdated or “deconstructs itself in 18 months and for the technology fields the half life is even less. Students need to be prepared as self-directed, lifelong learners “for jobs that do not yet exist, to use technologies that have not been invented, and to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet” (Darling-Hammond et all 2008 P.2 )(Quoted on P.5 Merriam and Bierema) They must be prepared to continually advance their knowledge and skills. They will be expected to keep pace with rapid changes and apply their knowledge and skills to diverse situations and environments. What employers want are employees who can process information, understand what is happening, be creative problem solvers, and make good decisions often with limited information.

Soft skills are also important for instructors to foster in students. Good teamwork is important for example and they need to work in groups effectively. Being more team oriented in the workplace means as educators we need to help our students develop skills that will allow them to work well in groups. This is often a challenge as some have been victims of bad groups for numerous reasons in the past and prefer to work solo.

Interpretive

Acquiring knowledge is important but that information can become outdated very quickly.

It is essential for people to be able to identify reliable and valid sources of information and to critically think and question the information in front of them. Technology has also allowed us to work with others much more easily and many of us are on the “cloud”. Skype puts us right there in the room. We can work on projects with others almost anywhere in the world. There are challenges though with working with a diverse team as there is a greater chance of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Soft skills become more important so that team members can be respectful and sensitive to differences like age, cultural, etc. when working with each other.

Decisional

There can be more than one goal when helping students to learn. Meeting the learning objective is just part of what can be taught. How students learn can help them to develop valuable skills in the future and we need as educators to address any gaps required in the 21st Century through learning ourselves how to be more effective. We need to be ahead of that curve.

References

Dumont, H., Istance, D. & Benavides, F. (2010) The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice. Paris: OECD.

Merriam, S.B., & Bierema, L.L. (2014). Jossey-Bass Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice.

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