Rudai 23 ~ Thing 18 ~ Reflective Practice ~ Critical Thinker

It’s been quite some time since I engaged with Rudai 23, essentially down to starting a new full time job; but the glorious snowy weather that even stretched as far as the south west means that today I’m catching up. And what a catch up it has been – soooo much information….

 

So Thing 14 ~ Personal Information Management  I found to be a very handy reminder of more tools that I had once tried and then abandoned, believing them to be little more than distractions. I also have to confess to being an appalling personal information manager – I can never decide on my favourite method, and end up trying to use several at once, which is destined to failure. On starting work again, I realised that Evernote, Pocket and their ilk are highly recommended to students as tools for collating and managing their various information sources. And so once again I signed up for them, and began populating them with many articles, blogs and resources. I have found that they are indeed a quick, safe and reliable way of flagging up or storing all those things that I want to go back to (admittedly there are a lot of crochet patterns in there – well, it’s an easy way to start!). And whilst most of the blogs I have added to Feedly are ones which I also follow on Facebook, I suspect that using Feedly will mean that I actually focus more on those items I don’t want to miss. That said, I think all of these tools only really work if you use them consistently and regularly; I am yet to achieve this. I’m a great one for writing myself notes to recall something, and subsequently losing those tiny pieces of paper, and thus the useful piece of information. I am also well aware that this is a poor method, and I am determined to increase my use of Evernote in particular (along with my other new discovery, the Bullet Journal) in my working life. I’m not sure about Pocket, but will continue to try it out.

 

Onto Thing 15 ~ Evaluating Information. In the modern age I think it is hugely important for us all to be able to critically evaluate anything  we read, and in particular I think for younger people who have been brought up in the Google and Wiki world we now find ourselves in. Finding myself back in academia means that I am even more aware of it than I was as a parent of teens (who I hope I have taught useful skills to!), and I accept that these tools are the first stop in their information searching. Learning not to dismiss them out of hand, and to use them, as the blog post for this ‘thing’ suggests, as a starting point from which they can delve deeper, follow links and work out whether the information is indeed relevant has been eye-opening for me. It has taught me that educating people in a way they can relate to, using tools they are not afraid of, means we can achieve greater success and encourage use of more detailed and effective tools in the future.  I was already aware of the CRAAP test, but have found myself paying much more attention to it, and extolling the virtues at every opportunity!

 

Thing 16 ~ Your Digital Footprint focusses on how much information we give away about ourselves, and even to someone who was aware of it, I found it quite disturbing.  Nothing that was mentioned was new or unknown to me, but much of it is simply taken for granted in this digital age; common sense dictates a lot, but there are some issues – such as information gathering by companies like Google or Facebook – which over the years we have come to accept as normal and therefore no longer question to any real degree. I also found it interesting on having conversations with others about this topic, that most people are prepared to give away a degree of security in order to be able to engage with the world through the tools provided. Duck duck go has been tried by friends but the benefits of Google outweigh any fears, and so on. This is an issue which I think I’ll be following up and looking at further.

 

Finally onto Thing 17 ~ Sharing Your Work, the item I’m least familiar with, and least likely to get involved with in the near future. Well, that’s not entirely accurate, I have looked at the resources suggested and found some very useful tools and information. As a ‘teaching librarian’ I’m finding all sorts of new places to look for tips and hints and ideas, and all of these platforms are amazing; in the last 2 months I have come across ideas shared by like-minded individuals, purely to benefit other professionals and increase the amount of help we can in turn pass on to library users. I look forward to sharing some of my own work, once I get past the initial stages of just trying to catch up and prepare myself!

Now  though the snow is gone and we’re just left with icy winds,  mist and stormy seas…. I’m off for some fresh air!