Sunday, 29 January 2012

CLIC Social Media Event: CPD23: Learning about tools for professional development

The final presentation was by Karen Pierce (@Darklecat) on CPD23, also known as 23 Things for Professional Development, and she also used a Prezi.

She started by introducing the course and the benefits that taking part in it could provide.  She stressed that as it was an online course, which you work through independently, everyone goes at their own pace.
23 Things for Professional Development, also known as cpd23, is a self-directed, self-paced, inclusive, practical and free online programme open to librarians and information professionals at all stages of their career, in any type of role, any sector, and from any part of the world.  It encourages information professionals to explore and discover social media 'Things', including Twitter, RSS feeds and file-sharing, as well as other 'traditional' CPD routes, such as gaining qualifications, presenting skills and getting published.  Participants will be asked to assess how each Thing can assist them in their professional development, and then to blog about each Thing and share their thoughts, views and expertise.  The programme is completely informal and no prior knowledge or experience is expected or assumed.
It was advertised to start in June 2011 and run throughout the summer, ending in October/November, but as it was an independent course new people could enroll at any point during the course.  At one point there were over 787 people taking part.

In order to take part students had to set up their own blogs (or use an existing one) to record their progress.  Karen said she decided to go with Wordpress rather than the recommended Blogger to set up her's as it seemed a little more user-friendly.  One of the most enjoyable aspects of taking part in CPD23 was checking other people’s blogs.  Because there were so many participants Karen's method of deciding which to look at was to narrow it down to other cataloguers, people based in Wales or any with intriguing blog titles.

Some of Karen's highlights from the course included;
Thing 3 (which Emma also mentioned in her talk) which looked at branding (sounded off putting, but once you looked in to it actually made sense) and particularly the interconnectivity of all your online profiles.  It lead her to decide to choose an avatar picture of a woman reading that she'd seen on a Greek vase as it linked her library life to her previous role as an ancient historian.
Thing 4 which introduced Twitter, Karen mentioned finding Twitter very scary to begin with, but as she joined with loads of other CPD23 newbies that helped, and she found herself learning a lot about cake, knitting and kittens!

“Twitter is what you make of it”
Primarily she follows library people and library conferences, and has found it very useful for networking, as was demonstrated when part way through the course a CPD23 real life meet up took place at Milgis in Cardiff and led to its own hashtag #yurtup and some yurt up envy happening on Twitter.
Karen giving her presentation
Karen also pointed out that CPD23 is not just about new media but also about working on your continuing professional development in a number of areas.

As part of her presentation Karen discussed some of the pros and cons of taking part in the course;
Time - the biggest issue is finding time to fit it in around work/life, particularly during busy periods, so it's easy to slip behind
Lack of interest in some aspects – either because not all the 'things' were really applicable to her role as a cataloguer or because she was already happier using alternatives versions
Too much info - there were so many blogs and tweets to read, so much information to absorb about the 'things' that it was a bit of an overload
Setting up a blog and Twitter account
Making new contacts and networks
Gaining practice in reflective writing
Updating knowledge in a number of different areas
The encouragement you receive from others doing the course
Karen rounded up by listing her CPD23 goals for the future as;
-Maintaining her blog
-Going back over some of the 'things'
-Continuing her professional development

She ended by telling everyone that the CPD23 course was likely to run again in the New Year, and encouraged anyone who hadn't tried it before to 'have a go'.

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