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charlie, computer cat

April 2019



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charlie, computer cat

So, one of the things we have to do as part of my GTP course next year is apparently to keep a reflective journal covering our training and teaching experiences. Of course, being the terrifying geek that I am, I immediately thought "Ooh, I could do that as a blog". I asked and the trainer said I could but that I might want to cut and stick things in it so I should think carefully. I think this is because she doesn't yet know about scanners.

It has to be accessible to our trainers (i.e. they can ask to look at it) but not necessarily to our mentors so I'm thinking of making an LJ for it - that way I can make another account for the trainer and make locked posts for stuff I don't want to share with my mentor or needs too much anonymising. Still, I'm open to suggestions...

Poll #1214238 Reflective journal

What should I use for my reflective journal?

Use this LJ and just tag stuff
Create a new LJ and use that
Create a community and post to it using this LJ username
Use a completely different blogging system (please recommend which one)
Don't do it online at all

Assuming I do put it online, what should I call it?

I include the option to use this LJ and etc because this LJ is basically inextricably linked with my real name - google charman and oxford and you get my tinyjo.net website, for a start - and I accept that so anyone interested in me as a teacher will find this anyway. On the other hand, that doesn't mean I might not choose to set up a new internet identity for blogging about teaching and keep this one for writing about my outside interests, which is probably the most sensible route.
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*Have* to do? I really wouldn't want to do that, and I don't see how it benefits the trainee.


Surely it's always going to be useful to be able to review (in a structured way) the stuff that's happened over the past year, learning points, etc. If you don't write it down as it happens, it's very easy to forget how far you've come, what tripped you up, how you solved the problem...

I obv don't mean any sort of touchy-feely diary here but I don't think that's what is meant - is it?

Re: Really?

Yeah, it's supposed to provide evidence that we can reflect on our experiences and watching other teachers and draw useful lessons/information from them as well as actually recording that information.
Yep, have to. It's supposed to provide evidence of our ability to improve ourselves as teachers through observation and reflection on experiences.
Mightn't there be confidentiality issues from doing it online? You might want to write about particular kids, or other teachers, and I think it would be a lot safer to do that offline.

If you do decide to do it online, I think you should definitely set up a new account that can't be linked back to this one/your real name, and probably post everything under a lock anyway.
I have another LJ for professional eduaction stuff, so does Moto and plenty of other no doubt.

I mentioned jottit

...because I think that creating a userid for someone else who doesn't actually use LJ is a bit of a palaver for them, and not guaranteed to work. A simple password-protected site would be a lot easier for them to use.

However, you're going to be the main user, of course, so at the end of the day it's whatever you find easiest / most useful.

(I smiled at the comment about not knowing scanners existed! But will you actually get round to scanning things in good time? I have a small pile of stuff that I intend to scan, oooh, sooon. A digicam photo might be quicker & easier?)

Re: I mentioned jottit

Actually that's true - now I have a good digital camera, I'll probably end up using that rather more, unless it's for something in really small print.

I'll have a look at jottit and see what I make of it - I haven't played with the Caption version yet.

Are you still on the committee mailing list?

That's the only place that the CAPTION one's been briefed out. I think it's not a bad way of working actually.

Re: Are you still on the committee mailing list?

Yep, but I only scan most of the mailings. I'll check it out and see how it feels.
You may want at some point to show your journal to someone who does not use the internet, so you should consider printing/presentation options when setting it up.

I'd put in a personal plea to at least put it on an opt-out filter for those not especially terested in teaching.
Fair point - I think a lot of people I'll be dealing with aren't desparately internet literate, so it might become necessary.
I think an online journal would be the *only* way you could do something like this easily. An actual physical object that has to get passed around (potentially lost, potentially in the wrong hands, the dog ate it, etc)? That would be a nightmare.

I'd say an LJ with filters will work fine, and there may be other sites that would be fine as well.

I'd never post anything publicly in it, but that's just my own cautionary nature. Public ends up on Google for all time, etc. Anyone that needs access should be able to take 3 minutes to set up an account and gain access.
I know others who have teaching journals that they use purely for teaching posts because 1)It's a useful place to plead for advice and 2)it avoids boring the non teachers. You probably don't want _everyone_ to go to it as they do with your usual journal. A separate LJ seems a good route.

Yes, a reflective journal *is* a useful exercise in my experience.
I was going to suggest using Vox, actually. I think that the ability to link to books could be very useful if you're talking about what you're doing with a particular novel or text or something. It's pretty easy to deal with inserting photos and stuff, too.

I hate logging in and out of LJ. So my book reviews are over at kateshort.vox.com and I copy-post them over here.

I would make it pretty much FO, though. Privacy and confidentiality issues are really important to consider.


Ooh, that's interesting. How does the book linkage work?
May I add you? :()
Sure! The more the merrier :)