Saturday, 30 June 2012

Digital reflection - an aid to developing meta-cognition

Blogging literacies

This blog from Steve Wheeler makes some interesting observations about blogging literacies.  He makes the point that blogging isn't just an extension of more traditional literacies.  An extract from his blog states: of the new digital literacies bloggers need is the ability to encapsulate ideas succinctly and in a form that is accessible and engaging. Another literacy is the ability to be able to devise posts that draw an audience and provoke responses. One of the most powerful aspects of blogging is its social dimension which include open discussion. Still another is the skill of managing those responses and replying in a way that promotes further discussion and sustains the discourse. Knowledge about tagging, RSS feeds, trackback and other blogging features will enhance the presence of the blogger online.
Digital reflection

Earlier this year I met the people running a Leeds University funded project on digital reflection. They are using camera, video and audio as a form of reflection to provide a mirror image to reflect upon - a kind of distancing mechanism putting the maker into the shoes of the viewer.

Meta learning skills

In my blog post on how managers learn I commented on meta-learning skills that helps an individual develop meta-cognition, i.e. knowing what you know and knowing what you do not know.  Meta cognition includes things like creativity, mental agility and balanced learning habits and skills.
Implications for management learning practice

My position is that we have to reverse how we approach management learning to really help learners look at their workplace practices ahead of, if not in place of, traditional methods that favour abstracted theory.  Everyday workplace practice contains a great deal of context-specific information about how things get done and I believe it should be placed at the centre of knowledge production and learning.  

The tools to do this are emerging all the time - Swivl is a video tool using an iPhone on a rotating tripod.  And MIT Media Labs have developed sociometric badges.  So alongside the development of blogging literacies are the skills to use video and audio to observe and record the workplace action.    

My interest is in helping managers to:

  • Look closely at the situation specific facts as the basis for action and performance improvement
  • Create context-specific knowledge about how things get done: in this place, at this time, by these people, in these specific circumstances 
  • Boost self confidence by helping to affirm what it is they already know or are doing
  • Provide a platform from which they can then develop and follow their learning interests. 


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