Thursday, October 28, 2010
Writing down my thoughts
Here are some advantages I see in using a laptop to write down my thoughts:
Making notes: I tend to learn best when I take notes. I'm the sort of person who drifts off if I don't focus on what I am hearing by writing it down. I like to come back later and reflect on what I have heard. I think that meetings and presentations are important and I don't want things to go in one ear and out the other. It's also good to share notes with those who are interested but who could not attend the meeting.
Backchanneling: A back channel is a very useful way of giving feedback on a presentation or meeting through real-time online conversation alongside the spoken remarks. Over the past couple of years I've been encouraged to use Twitter to backchannel using hashtags in conferences I've attended. I like the way that a backchannel helps me feel connected to others in the audience or elsewhere in the world - I feel more like I am a contributing participant, rather than just a passive member of an audience. I would like to explore the use of backchannelling at school meetings but think that it might be seen in a negative light.
Multi-tasking: In my last school I made a deliberate effort to multi-task during some meetings as I wanted to experience what the students were doing with their computers during lessons and to see how it impacted on the quality of my work, my attention to the meeting and so on. This is definitely something you get better at the more you do and it is something that teachers need more practice at - for example I have seen teachers struggle in planning meetings to take minutes, fill out the planner and be involved in discussions simultaneously.
Modelling: I think as teachers we need to model learning. When I use my computer to take notes during a meeting I think I am showing that I am trying to learn from the meeting.
Articulating and redefining my thoughts: When I take notes I don't just write down what is said, I often document my thoughts about what is said. If I then share my notes, for example in a blog post, I get feedback from others with different perspectives which helps me redefine my thoughts.
Photo Credit: Fast Fingers by Katie Krueger