So, here we are in February. After every Cohort 21 F2F session, we’re given time to blog, but I find I need time to process my thoughts, think about everything that’s happened during the day, incorporate all the interesting conversations I’ve had with inspiring cohort members, make notes on useful ideas etc before I commit my ideas to my blog. I’d planned to come back to school on the Monday after the F2F, and get my blog post done immediately. In fact, it’s taken me well over two weeks to even think about uploading pictures to WordPress, which perfectly illustrates just how busy term two is.
The day began with a chance to chat with other Cohort 21 members, and a few minutes to review both the SAMR and TPACK models. We were invited to reflect on our Action Plan, and to think about which lens is better suited to support our plan. In my case, SAMR is more applicable; I’m aiming for the ‘modification’ rung, which encourages the user to think about significant task redesign. With my action plan, I’m investigating how our library schedule can be transformed by an online / technological component. Although it’s difficult to apply either lens to non-classroom action plans, in this case, it the potential for application is high. I would like our schedule to be an interactive document, and a tool for collaboration. At this time in the day, my fellow table members were of great use giving advice and sharing experiences, and helped me clarify my overall objectives in rethinking our schedule. In particular, I’d like to thank @lmustard and @jweening for the great discussion about schedules and how they (should) work.
After some reflection time, we were invited to ‘storyboard’ what our actual Action Plan implementation will look like. Mine is shown below, and gives a great idea of my plan as it should roll out over the next few months. In particular, I realised how much time I need to devote to working with solutions we already have at the school, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel…
One of the most useful parts of the day was when our fearless leaders invited us to consider the Assumptions and Constraints that might have an impact on our Action Plans. As we forward plan, these potential roadblocks must be taken into consideration. There is so much to consider, both from a library viewpoint and a school-wide SCS perspective, before implementing a new procedure.
A significant chunk of time in the afternoon was devoted to ‘pitching’ our Action Plans to one of the many facilitators and coaches. This really helped clarify my ideas, and many helpful suggestions were made. One particularly helpful suggestion was to work with what the school already has (and what staff are already comfortable with); we all already use Outlook, and many of our room and equipment bookings are made in this way. Another tool I had considered for library scheduling was Google Calendar, but not everyone on staff uses this format. We discussed the pros and cons of using Outlook for booking physical spaces, and agreed that a short trial would probably be an excellent idea.
Before we left MaRS, we were asked to ‘calendar’ our next Action plan steps. This was incredibly useful; I always break big tasks in to smaller, more do-able chunks, and like to have self-imposed check-in deadlines along the way. However, with just a short time remaining before our fourth and final Face 2 Face meeting at Hillfield Strathallan on April 22, there’s not lot of time to get on this, as well as find time to report back in a meaningful way!
Despite the positive outcomes of the day, for an introvert such as myself, I found the Face 2 Face session at MaRS somewhat challenging. I am the kind of person who likes to consider a problem, research and experiment, and the constant ‘talking it out’ is not a way I’d usually approach a problem such as this. However, I do appreciate that a new approach (such as the Design Thinking Process itself) is often the best way to get inspired and creative outcomes and solutions.
I’m looking forward to seeing colleagues at our next Face 2 Face meeting in April, and hope to have some successes to report!