First Day Back

I’ve found myself at the computer in the short period before my first class of my third year, and I’m wondering what would be the best use of my time.

As I look back over my previous blog posts this year, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on what went well, and what didn’t go so well.

The second year psychology syllabus is considered the hardest year of the three, because it contains a lot of content which is required to meet the British Psychological Society specifications. And I struggled with a lot of parts of it. Since in my own dissertation project group our paradigm assumed that large amounts of memorisation does not constitute proper learning. I think a few of the things I have written my have carried that frustration.

But now we have a fresh start, and I’m looking forward to studying some specialised modules this year which utilise new teaching methods. We’re also excited to see our social media in learning research take off. My goal this year is to score a first class degree, something I believe is attainable. I’m intending to achieve this through putting in the time to study, but also ensuring that the work I do is not wasted effort. I believe part of this will be worked through introduction of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) (Jarche, 2013). I will be using twitter, wordpress and evernote to channel, record and index my thoughts, and to engage in the online discussion. Surely I also need to be wise in how I work to the grading criteria that has been set, but all this I hope will be quickened though reflective and synthesising pieces contained on my blog.

Personal Knowledge Management

This year I will be taking on a teaching role within the university. I’ll be teaching a class called ‘PITTS’. It’s an orientation course teaching the Apple interface, and then equipping students to use the internet for research and the production of well formatted APA documents.

A new addition to the course this year is ‘Personal Knowledge Management’, a component of the module in which we are going to try and teach students from day one of their degree to begin networking.

PKM is a concept that has been developed by Harold Jarche. The idea is that one builds ones own personal network, engineered entirely autonomously, to connect with those in a research discipline that excites you – the learner. This network of both people and documents grows over time and aides learning.

This blog is a form of my own PKM, which I have been doing on and off throughout my university time. But as I continue to write here, I am taking the information which relates to my own study, and am making sense of it, which advances my own personal learning far better than any memorisation ever could. If I extend that into using twitter or linkedin, or if I start following peoples’ blogs I am expanding my academic peripheral vision and making myself a more effective learner, and thus making my career more effective for both me and my employer.

I have spent a lot of time this year studying how the connected world has a holistic effect upon learning, in anticipation of the dissertation project I will be starting. I think it is a terrific idea to begin learners on this at as younger age as possible.