VTaL : Reflection on Dept Goal 2 - Blog-Comment-Discuss

The following post is a reflection on Department Goal 2.

Department Goal Idea 2

Reflections - 15mins Blogging in Dept Meetings

The way in which the goal has been executed within department meeting time is as follows:

  1. Blog Post Reflections - Staff blog their reflections on either a particular School Goal or Department Goal.  The focus is determined prior to blogging.  Staff publish their blog posts, and then share their post within the TC Techies Google+ Community under the category of School Goals or Technology Department Goals.  The sharing within the TC Techies G+ Community, is so that posts can be easily located by other members of the department on a common topic shared under a specific category label.
  2. Blog Comments - Staff locate each other's blog posts, read through, and then comment on the posts.
  3. Discussions - We then discuss what we've learnt from either our reflection and the comments on our reflections, or, what we've learnt from other people's reflections.

The process has enabled a level of connectedness whereby staff have a digital and rewindable portal of their reflections and comments, a sense of shared purpose through blogging on the same area of focus, and then another level of connectedness through the discussions.  This includes ideas around teaching and learning approaches or experiences that are the same as each other, as well as different as each other.  In addition, the digital feedback and discussion feedback often leads to ideas or takeouts, for issues that we may be experiencing in our own work area.

Initially, the department goal idea was to spend 15 minutes blogging.  However, when we undertook the blogging process within the department meeting for the first time, it became clear that 15 minutes probably wasn't going to cut it!  The blogging timeline probably takes us approximately 20-30 minutes, from the start of the blog post, publishing the blog post, and then sharing the post into the TC Techies Google+ Community.  Then we spend approximately 10-15 minutes commenting on each others posts, and another 10-15 minutes discussing what we'd learnt.

Although the time allocation is way beyond our initial expectation, the benefits of investing the time into this process far outweighs the extra time expended.  The 'Blog-Comment-Discuss' process provides a real sense of collegiality, whereby staff can feed into discussions (both digitally and face-to-face), as well as gain take-outs from the discussions.

The Blog-Comment-Discuss sessions have so far included:

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