Journaling / Writing Aspirations …

I must try and get into the habit of writing regularly and I am thinking that journaling might be the way to go …

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

There are two main reasons for this: a) as a PhD candidate it is really kind of a good idea to practice ! Clearly my blog is a different sort of writing but I figured any attempt at regular writing just might help and b) I don’t think I am particularly good at being reflective and by writing a regular journal might help with that and of course it will probably be good for me in other ways ( eg mental health and well being etc )

I really like the idea of journaling … I used to keep a journal as a kid back in the prehistoric days before t’internet, computers and my probably poor attempts at adulting … but that was really only for me and only me – so I guess that would be more of a personal diary ? Is there a difference ? I’m not sure. I looked it up in Miriam-Webster dictionary but I’m still none the wiser ? Answers on a postcard would be most appreciated ..

In the last week or so I have come across a few different sources of inspiration that have really struck a chord with me. I so wish I could have the sticking power to actually do one of these things. I’m not sure which one I will adopt or even if I might try a different approach but either way I thought I would share in case they are helpful for others and also by way of saying thank you to all these lovely people for sharing their stuff ..

Inspiration 1 : Natalie Sheridan’s Blog, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and #SoTLwalk

https://acdevadventures.blog/

I’ve recently connected with Nathalie in relation to our shared love of Flipgrid. We are still trying to have a hangout so we can come up with a cunning plan. However, we have actually been connected for a while now and are currently trying to work out exactly from where! We are like minded souls … it could be #LTHEchat perhaps ?

Anyhow, when I was wandering around Nathalie’s most excellent blog I came across loads of really helpful stuff including her contributions to #SoTLwalk, the brain child of Dr Natasha Taylor – Check out https://sites.rmit.edu.au/seh-sotl/2020/07/19/join-the-july-sotl-walk/

I loved reading this post from Nathalie where she highlights her enthuasism for the #SoTLwalk initative

I have fallen in love with the SoTL walk. It is a great way to engage in reflective practice and with colleagues across the world. This month’s topic was more challenging than I thought. Once I began writing it grew vines and tentacles all over the place. So instead of sharing directly on the padlet, I am trying to disentangle here first. My walk began in our garden and looped around an overgrown path along the canal (because on this side there are barely any people). So nature gave me quite a bit to reflect on.

Nathalie Sheridan

This blog post explains how the #SoTLwalk went virtual during lockdown and Nathasha gives a brilliant overview of the initiative in this video. Seemingly it combines walking with scholarly activity.

This is something that is now in it’s 5th month and I have missed it all ! I am really very sad about this as it is such a brilliant idea. Participating in this would mean that I could a) give my regular writing a kick start and b) actually get me out of the house which would be an excellent plan as if I don’t do something soon the good old ‘Covid Lockdown ‘ weight gain will mean that I will be the size of a house if I am not careful …

This weeks theme is ‘‘When life gives you lemons…’. I don’t think I will get to actually think about that by tomorrow but I look forward to seeing what the theme is next time !

Dr Natasha Taylor explains the #SoTLWalk Initative

Inspiration 2 : Doug Belshaw’s Blog and #100daystooffload

https://dougbelshaw.com/blog/

I’m always inspired and completely in awe of how Doug manages to be so productive in all that he does … clearly not an easy feat … I have learnt so much over the years from him (kind of where my love of Open Digital Badges comes from) .. his blog is an absolute treasure chest of hints and tips .. what is so lovely is that he so open and genuine and gives such an insight into how he does stuff

Doug has been doing a series where he has been writing regularly with the aim of doing 100 posts in a year.

This is a link to Doug’s first post in the series where he explains how he was inspired to take part in this initiative started by Kev Quirk

I came across someone using the #100DaysToOffload hashtag on Mastodon. Curious to find out more, I clicked the links on a few updates that contained the hashtag, and eventually discovered this blog post from Kev Quirk:

What if we had a hashtag that encourages both existing and new bloggers to start writing? The posts don’t need to be long-form, technical masterpieces that should earn you a masters in English. But instead, just a simple and fun way to get people writing and sharing their thoughts. You never know, the whole might be cathartic too.

There’s now a site complete with some guidelines: 100daystooffload.com

Doug Belshaw 2020 / Kev Quirk2020

This is a link to the latest of Doug’s posts in this series – I just love how he signs this one off …

Living a good life is not a theoretical exercise : I have spent much of my adult life studying Philosophy, either formally at university or informally through reading and discussing. But living a good life is not a theoretical exercise, and that is why my Mastodon bio simply quotes Epictetus in saying:

Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.

Doug Belshaw 2020

… anyone who knows Doug would find it diffcult to comprehend that he needs any encouragement to write regularly ( as he recogises himself in the first post) as he is just so productive it is unbelievable … although it is so good to see that he knows he needs to take time out and slow down at times … this gives me hope .. even if I could have a little bit of Doug’s magic productivity dust I would be happy .. )

Inspiration 3 : Ken Bauer’s Blog

Screen shot of Ken’s Main Page

https://blog.kenbauer.me/

I found links to Ken’s blog on Mastodon . I’m already connected with Ken and have been for a number of years now through things like Virtually Connecting, but for some reason I had missed his blog series on his experiences during lockdown. Ken uses a set of questions as prompts for reflecting and this approach looks really good. I wonder if this might be something that I could do ? Maybe ?

The questions Ken answers in each post are :-

The core questions:

  1. What did you do today? 
  2. What did you enjoy? 
  3. What did you find difficult? 
  4. What has changed? 

And then, there are some more ‘stretch’ questions:

  1. What are you grateful for? 
  2. Which changes do you want to keep? 
  3. What are you scared of? 
  4. What has stayed the same?
  5. When did you last laugh

Ken mentions that he in turn was inspired by a post by Ben Werdmüller titled “Recording life on the ground“ which I think is where the questions came from.

This is a link to Ken’s first post

Entry 000 :
Yes, I left three digits there so this will roll over after 999 more entries. Let’s hope it doesn’t reach that number.

Ken Bauer 2020

and the most recent one where Bailey gets a shout out

Reading: Entry 103 for Saturday July 25, 2020
When did you last laugh? Our dog Bailey is good to keep us in a good mood, smiling and laughing. We are sure glad that she arrived on our doorstep almost three years ago.

Ken Bauer 2020

I also have to include this one as it has a piccie of Bailey who is like the cutest doggo ever ..

A Dog’s Life : Entry 009 for April 23, 2020
What has stayed the same? Our dog Bailey is very happy about this entire situation. She gets today’s title and picture because we all need more pet photos to keep our spirits up.

Ken Bauer 2020

Journaling during Covid-19 – Entry 009

Photo by Ken Bauer ( I think ! )

As far as I can tell Ken has mostly been blogging daily , even if there are one of two days when he doesn’t quite manage to blog a reflection in the series, it is still so impressive and VERY inspiring ..

So, all in all I think all these approaches are just brilliant and they have all in some way inspired me to write this so that is at least a start isn’t it !

However, there is a teeny part of me that is wondering if this isn’t another attempt at procrastination and some sort of weird attempt to avoid writing my research proposal and perhaps making that public ? Do I feel brave enough yet … hmm that is a question for another day …

all the best

Deb’s Bitmoji is probably having more success in writing …

Challenges

Today has been a bit of a challenging day in one way or another … I had back to back meetings in work and a headache so that just made it so hard to concentrate … so when I started on this evenings PhD work I found myself flitting around a bit so it has been a bit hit and miss.

Somehow in the middle of it all I decided it would be a good idea to revisit my CMALT blog ( another thing I am trying to get done ) and ended up faffing around with that for a couple of hours. ( Queen of procrastination) … What I should have been doing was trying to work on my proposal.

Clientmoji

 

In fairness I did eventually try and work on my proposal but I didn’t get very far.

My stumbling block today is that I am struggling with identifying what I think my end ‘product’ will be at the end of the PhD. I remembered reading something that shed some light on how to work this out but I couldn’t remember where I had seen it.

I did a search of my Evernote notes, looked at my Notion.So database but just couldn’t find it. Then I googled it and still nothing …eventually I looked in my little pink sparkly note book that I usually use when I have had enough of the screen.

That’s where I found it … always the last place you look isn’t, but that wasn’t easy either … poor old notebook is a bit scrambled … a bit like my brain at the moment

I’ve now written a blog post so that I can find it again hopefully but I am still no further on in working out what on earth I am actually supposed to achieve at the end of it …

one win I had was I remembered a padlet that I started ages ago where I started to pull together some stuff on emotional support – I popped this as a URL link on the side bar of the blog to remind me to actually look at it !

Hmmm…. off to cook kids tea now .. tomorrow is another day

See you Tomorrow

 

Establishing Contribution

You know that really frustrating moment when you know you have read something really cool somewhere but you stupidly can’t find your notes on it ? Yep I just had that… the good news is by some miracle I have now remembered that it was in a hand written note. I haven’t quite got around to scanning my handwritten notes in but maybe that is something I need to sort out quite rapidly !

Clientmoji

 

Any how what I was looking for was a great article that helps you work out how you might be contributing to knowledge. I should have guessed that it would be by Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega @raulpacheco his blog is just so cool. He does some really great twitter threads where he posts stuff and integrates this with his blog.

The blog post in question is called Developing the core elements of a research proposal: Finding a gap in the literature, mapping contributions to scholarship. There is a ton of really helpful stuff in this article include his suggested 5 questions for what PhD Candidates need to be able to answer about their own research and questions that help you identify the gap in the literature.

The bit that I was trying to find is the bit where he talks about the sorts of contributions that might be the end product of the PhD ( at least I think that is what it means).

He suggests things like …

An Innovative Framework

Integration of Literature

Generation of new data or collecting data that wasn’t available in the present form

~ Dr Raul Pachego-Vega June 28 2018

So, food for thought …

thankies

 

Huge thank you yet again Dr Pacheco-Vega.

References

Pachego-Vega (2018)  Developing the core elements of a research proposal: Finding a gap in the literature, mapping contributions to scholarship.

What Debbie Did ?

So in my head I thought it would be a good idea to have a category that is just to record what I have done – hopefully on a daily basis as I have been trying to do something ( anything) each day for the last couple of weeks. I’ve mostly succeeded in this quest, but honestly I don’t know if it’s my age but I would really struggle to tell you what I have actually done and that is sooooo depressing ..

Bitmoji Image

So just to kick start things off …

What Debbie did this weekend …

  • Launched my new blog ( this one) and archived my old one
  • Read some reports and papers from UNESCO covering COVID-19 – Web Page and Guidance on Open Educational Practices during School Closures: Utilizing OER under COVID-19 Pandemic in line with UNESCO OER Recommendation Rights and Permissions (Huang et al 2020)
  • Worked on my proposal (again) to try and get it into a bit better shape
  • Updated my new Notion.so database ( honestly this is really cool – I found out about it from Inger ( Thesis Whisperer) I’m gonna write a blog post about this soon ) Check this out – it’s got colour coding and everything !
  • Oh yes I also discovered the Open Library – online e-books and it’s free ! never seen this before – managed to borrow Teaching Community : A pedagogy of hope by bell hooks !! I have 14 days to read it …
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png
Quick screen grab of my Reference Page … each of these rows link to it’s own page with notes and stuff ..
  • I also attempted to set up a google site – not quite sure why just have the feeling that a lot of my stuff is scattered all over the place ( might have been a bit of procrastination going on there ! )

If you want to know a bit more about Notion.so and can’t wait until I blog about it then check out this video from Sterling Osborne – he also has some templates that are really handy

References

Huang, R., Liu, D., Tlili, A., Knyazeva, S., Chang, T. W., Zhang, X., Burgos, D., Jemni, M., Zhang, M., Zhuang, R., & Holotescu, C. (2020). Guidance on Open Educational Practices during School Closures: Utilizing OER under COVID-19 Pandemic in line with UNESCO OER Recommendation. Beijing: Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University