Week 6: Reflect

From the statement
Reflect - Occasionally, we'll stop looking outward so you can look at what you've done and consider what that doing means, for you, for now. This might be an essay, video, audio, mashup ... For reflection, you repurpose your own work. You do something with the materials you have created.

We'll slow things down for a week to let you catch your breath and reflect on what you've done so far. Reflection will let you get a take on what you've learned so far, and how, and to consider where you're going next.

Required activity

How to proceed this week

1. On your wiki or blog, collect a list of what you have done so far: materials read, posts made, comments on weblogs, urls to what you've read. This information will be on your weblog and social bookmarking site.

2. Once you have a list, annotate the significant items. Make some notes on what you did and why that doing was significant at the time. What, for instance, did you learn from what you did, and how? It might be technical, it might be conceptual. How to make a link in WordPress. How to search for a particular article. How to set up a wiki. How to create and embed a prezi. How to refactor a wiki page. Or it may be about: How does blogging change writing? Publishing? Reading? Where does social media fit in the historical move from orality to literacy to second orality? How might long-form writers use short-form writing of Twitter? How might you use the hypertext network of wikis?
The knowledge you list might be be explicit and declarative - you learned about something and can articulate what you know about it. Or it might be procedural and implicit - you learned to do something without necessarily being able to explain how or why. Or it might be strategic - given a problem, you learned to address it using the social tools at hand. Most likely, your list will be a mix of all three, perhaps others as well. Make a note of that.

Not everything you have learned will be equally important, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't mention it. Knowledge fits together like a network, not like a list.

But to start, make a list, a detailed, annotated, unexpurgated list. You need the list to see where you are, what you're learning. I need the list to evaluate how you're doing for a course grade. The list is your notes. Notes are important. Notes are good.

3. Then, using your list as a guide, create an artifact that lets you reflect on what you've done in the course so far and to consider where you are going next. This can be a mind map or concept map, a time line, a flow chart, a set of linked pages on your wiki, a PPT deck, a comic, a prezi, an online scrapbook ... you know the range by now. (But because knowledge is interlinked, a concept map of what you have learned in this class so far might be a good artifact to work with on this one.)

If you'd rather, you can use a written reflective essay (a set of concept maps), extensive poem, video, or audio. Whichever lets you reflect and articulate what you've done, what you've learned, and where you plan on going next.

Let me repeat this part: Use your reflection to consider what you have done so far and to plan what you're going to do next: A project? A line of inquiry you'd like to follow? A particular interest in a social media topic? Or perhaps something more nebulous yet ...

As usual, share your artifact: Embed it, or post it to your weblog or wiki page, and tag it.

Maps and timelines

The essay is, romantically, a little perambulation to say what you can see, or, less romantically, a philosophical weighing of alternative ideas (Essai and The Essay). That's why the essay makes a pretty good reflective artifact: It lets you figure out where to go by looking back at where you came from. But other forms of writing and composing also work for considering the past, its significance, and the future: mind maps or concept maps, timelines, collages, scrapbooks, and, of course, weblogs themselves (they are logs: records of what happened when). Now's a good time to experiment, if you wish, with some alternatives to the written essay. Google translation of essai

example: http://www.mindmeister.com/maps/show/1269795

Tools for reflection on learning

Tools for reflection, OU, UK
Technology Tools for Reflection, Reflection for Learning.

Mind mapping

http://www.mindmeister.com/ < better
http://bubbl.us/ < alternative

Time lines

http://www.timetoast.com/ < better
http://veerasundar.com/timelinr/ < alternative


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