explorations of a wanna-be difference-maker in nursing education and life in general

Archive for the month “December, 2011”

Am I transformed? (a final reflection)

Little did I know what I was venturing into when I embarked on my Masters in nursing a few years ago.  I’ve heard it said that returning for a MN degree is “refreshing your nursing education”.  Indeed, I have found that it has been that and much more for me.  When I registered for this course, I just knew I wanted something different and something related to education.  Again, I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I’m a risk-taker, and it usually serves me.  Once again, I believe I’m further ahead for venturing out into unknown territory, “feel(ing) the fear and do(ing) it anyway”!

Transformative Learning  is the process of “perspective transformation”, with three dimensions: psychological (changes in understanding of the self), convictional (revision of belief systems), and behavioral (changes in lifestyle).

Mezirow (1995) inductively identified ten phases of perspective transformation from his study of 83 women returning to college after a long hiatus from schooling.  As I read through the list, I could identify with every single one.

1. A disorienting dilemma

  • Nursing education is highly guarded on use of social media out of legitimate ethical concern around breach of  patient privacy.  The official party line from my immediate social system has seemed to be NO GOOD CAN COME FROM TWITTER and other social media!  Only one of my colleagues within our program is active on Twitter.

2 Self-examination with feelings of guilt or shame or fear

  • What do I think I’m doing in this course?  Am I simply rebellious to my dying day?  (see above concern for context).  I do not measure up to my classmates in my background of educational theory.  This may not be a legitimate elective.  I will be exposed and shamed.

3. A critical assessment of assumptions

  • My colleague who is on Twitter is a leader and innovator and highly ethical practitioner.  I have the utmost respect for her and she has been a marvelous informal mentor to me.  She is always “out in front” regarding tech integration.  She is better informed than many of us on evidence, be it evidence for pedagogical or nursing science.   Maybe she is onto something!

4. Recognition that one’s discontent and process of transformation are shared and that others have negotiated a similar change.

  • Simply refer to EC&I831 classmates’ blogs from the first several weeks for validation.

5. Exploration of options for new roles, relationships, and actions

  • Getting on Twitter and following classmates and a few social justice and nursing related hashtags opened my eyes to the possibility that Twitter could be the most effective gateway to lifelong learning.  
  • Reflecting on my own and others’ learning as documented in our blogs revealed that learning happens in the spaces between people, when they come together to process ideas and behaviors.

6. Planning of a course of action

  • I adopted http://www.paper.li in October to make Twitter more ergonomic and esthetic for me.
  • As I considered our faculty’s learning needs and innovations taking place within our new nursing education program, I planned a project that would transfer, or at least, share knowledge, in my face-to-face PLN.
  • I would complete the course requirements to the best of my ability and see where this takes me…I need this elective, darnit, non-completion is not an option!

7. Acquisition of knowledge and skills for implementing one’s plans

  • We all learned to use WordPress.com or similar for documenting our learning journeys.
  • We all learned to locate and attribute to their to author/creator, engaging images.
  • We all were challenged to learn new Web2.0 digital storytelling tools.  
  • Applicable theory related to the objectives of my final project “Innovation Showcase” had to be reviewed and learned “deeper”.  

8. Provisionally trying out new roles

  • This course has occurred concurrently with taking on the role of course leader in our new program.  In my third year as nursing educator, I consider myself an advanced novice.  Taking on course leadership is a  big stretch.  I am thankful for the timing of the Nursing Leadership 812, that I’ve just completed, in which I created a personal leadership plan tailored primarily to this new role.  I will be  integrating some learning from ECI831 in trialling VoiceThread as a means of asynchronous discussion between faculty who rarely see each other while working in community agencies with students for experiential learning.  Effective communication skills are imperative for a leader to be transformational – empowering.

9. Building of competence and self-confidence in new roles and relationships

  • I certainly perceive an increase in confidence as a result of the things I’ve learned and the relationships I’ve formed.

10. A reintegration into one’s life on the basis of conditions dictated by one’s new perspective.

  • I do not believe I am the same learner that I was back in early September.  Neither am I the same teacher. On this point, I hope, and choose to believe, that I am transformed and on my way to being transformative as an educator.

How am I different?

My face-to-face learning network is more developed, in part(s) as a result of my project, my increased confidence and my need for expertise and resources as I move into a new role.

My virtual network was birthed with the commencement of this course and has evolved and sculpted over the months.  Although I follow 100 on Twitter now, up from 3 back in August 2011, my best learning resources are @NIH (National Instititute for Health), @globaltechnurse, @SafetyNurse, @nursetim, @JNE (Journal of Nursing Education) and @Jone_Tiffany for nursing.  I like @Unicef, @ONE.org, @impatientoptimists, @gatesfoundation and @WHOnews for social justice topics.  And I follow educause, and edutopia for general education.

I invited my students to follow me on Twitter on our last day together Dec. 4th.  Most are not on twitter but two have signed on to follow me.  I find myself talking to colleagues about what I learned via twitter this week and educating them about the overlooked goldmine of knowledge and information on twitter.

So I’m better connected as a learner and educator and I believe, as my basic values convictions have changed, I will continue to develop connections to learn and share.  I’m amazed by the things I’m learning from my network and find this so nurturing and energizing that I can’t imagine why I’d slow down now.

I’ve always told stories to help students engage through emotion with ideas and concepts, but I will do even more of this, and I will integrate digital storytelling tools.

Where I want to go yet with social media is to connect with our government officials and health policy makers on a regular basis to give them feedback – positive and negative – and encourage others to do the same.  As I tweeted out to Alec’s community meeting on Thursday, I believe social media gives the individual citizen a voice.  The question is: will we take it up and use it?

sharing a taste of my final project…Innovation Showcase

My final project, entitled ” Innovation Showcase”, is now complete and in the process of uploading to a dropbox file for Alec – all 230 megabytes of video and slides.  This is a presentation that I will give in person in our February faculty meeting.  I’m very pleased with the final product and although not perfect, it is beyond anything I’ve done before.  I learned how to edit video via iMovie and upload into my slideshow.   I played with Skitch on 2 of the slides, and added my ToonDo creation and have those new tools in my storytelling belt.  I watched several slideshows on how to create a killer presentation, using CRAP; contrast, repetition (this needs some improvement in this work), alignment and proximity.  I managed to keep my text on all but three slides very minimal, as recommended by experts.  I would really like to make this into a movie, recording someone’s voice to accompany the slides, someday…  I feel a smile coming on each time I listen to my colleagues tell their stories of innovation and their own personal learning.  It will be wonderful to share these stories in February.  I expect that faculty will be inspired and provoked to trial these strategies as well.  Although the entire file is too large to embed, with 18 minutes of video and 39 slides,I will give you a sampling of slides and skitched screenshots.

Below is only one of the six responses to each of challenges of innovation and ideas for future pursuits.

Telling my colleagues’ stories…of pioneering in nursing ed.

Pioneer Hardship by LParisi, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  LParisi 
1.a. To open up (an area) or prepare (a way): rockets that pioneered outer space. b. To settle (a region).
2. To initiate or participate in the development of

from the free dictionary.

My spare time this last week has been spent editing videotaped interviews of 7 innovative colleagues and 6 second year students.  I’m distilling about 2 hours of footage down to 12-15 minutes, including transition and explanation slides.  Prior to this course, I  left these tech-jobs to  hubby, who I considered more adept… and truthfully, I had no interest in learning this skill.  Now that I know how to do this, I can easily imagine creating other projects for personal or professional use.   iMovie is very user-friendly, especially combined with the youtube video from helpful tween-experts.
I’m excited to have this presentation ready to go for our January faculty meeting.  Just as we’ve so much enjoyed learning from each other in this course, we love learning from each other within our own faculty, but the reality of clinical teaching in nursing education poses a unique challenge to synchronous dialogue about practice.  So I think, or hope, anyway, that the stories that the innovators in the “movie” tell will inspire, encourage, provoke and teach the rest of us.  They will acknowledge the innovators, who all sacrificed their personal time and energy, beyond work hours, to break the ground and prepare the way for the early  adopters, the early and late majority and eventually, the laggards .   I am thrilled to have learned the skills to be the vehicle for the stories!
The Four Stages of Getting on Twitter In by Roobee, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  Roobee 
What do you think of this pictorial sum-up of twitter?  Is this accurate?  I think I’m a 3.  Where are you on the graphic?

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