Saturday, 22 October 2011

Thing 23: Finishing touches

Last Thing! I think it's fair to say that cpd23 has been a marathon rather than a sprint, so as I stagger across the finish line it's time to wrap myself in the shiny tinfoil blanket of Thing 23 while I sip at the electrolyte-replenishing sports drink of reflection.

Firstly, I'd like to say that the whole course has been brilliant, one of the best things I've ever done in terms of professional development. Not only have I found trying out or thinking about all of the suggested things really useful, but through the course I picked up loads of people to follow on Twitter and have begun reading a wide range of blogs: this has really broadened my professional reading and makes me feel much more up-to-date with current issues in the profession. So a big thank you to the cpd23 organisers and to all the guest bloggers who wrote such interesting and helpful posts on all of the Things.

One thing the programme has made me consider is how important it is, as well as how enjoyable it can be, to play around with new tools and applications. Obviously, it has been useful, as well as a great incentive when my motivation might have been flagging, to explore these tools at the same time as hundreds of other people and to read others' thoughts about them. But those advantages aside, there had previously been nothing to stop me from finding out about and subsequently exploring things like Evernote, Jing, Dropbox, Google Docs, etc under my own steam. So one thing I will take away from the course is to try to be more curious and experimental about tools and applications I could use in my work and to be more of an early adopter.

In terms of what I'd like to do next, prior to starting cpd23 I was doing an online course in Excel provided by my institution's staff development unit. I have put this on hold over the summer in favour of following cpd23 (fortunately the Excel course is also one that you can take at your own pace) so I'll be completing that now. Then I'll have a little break from professional development activities over Christmas, and then in the New Year hopefully I will start preparing to register for and begin Chartership.

As part of Chartership I'll be putting together a Personal Professional Development Plan. At work we also have a very comprehensive Performance and Development Review process - my most recent PDR was over the summer, with a follow-up session planned in January/February, so this can also feed into my Chartership preparation. I don't want to do a SWOT analysis as part of this blog, as I want to spend some time thinking about this. However, one gap in my skills and experience that I have been aware of for a little while now is that I don't have much experience of giving presentations or of public speaking in general. Things 15 and 17 from this course had lots of useful information to help me address this.

We are invited to write a "6 word story" to sum up our experience of the cpd23 course. My first attempt, prompted by my experience of actually doing the course on a week-by-week basis, was:

Monday already? Another Thing?! Soooo behind.

But now that I'm at the end of the programme the trauma of running to keep up with everybody else is fading, and, anyway, it was definitely worth it in the end. 

In an idea shamelessly nicked from Alliteration Station, I decided to create a Wordle of my blog. This is what it came back with:

So, picking out some of my most-used words on this blog, my final 6 word story of cpd23 is:

Information about applications supports our professionalisation.


  1. A clever idea indeed to make a wordle. I agree with so much of what you said. Thanks for saying it so much better. Good luck with your chartership.

  2. Thanks Susie! I can't really take credit for the Wordle as I stole the idea from somebody else - it's a very snazzy little application though!