Well, it’s been a while since my last post after I completed my second LSA. The main reason for is the last month or so has been a frantic mess. I took too long at the start of the DELTA and so then I had to really focus and work hard at the end to make sure that I got my last two LSA’s finished and my PDA (including the experimental practice). I’ll take my fair share of the blame here but I think the set up of the whole system didn’t help. Getting a suggested workplan in a spreadsheet with ambitious terms doesn’t really help a person to understand how much work each part will take. So here are a couple of time management ideas I think I can safely offer in advance.
- Do your diagnostic lesson as soon as possible
- Likewise with the first part of your PDA A
- Don’t get too over ambitious with your research methods, think about what you’ll likely do and maybe have one adventurous one. (I tried using my phone to video record classes, I had issues with setting my phone up correctly, the battery running out and of course, data protection issues of taking videos of YLs)
- It might be a good idea to do your Experimental practice early on. (I had no idea this was possible, all the material seemed to suggest it had to be after LSA 2 but that’s not the case. Early on there was a fair bit of waiting for feedback for me, so the EP makes more sense here IMO)
- Checklists are your friends, use checklists To make sure you don’t forget anything.
Was it worth it?
Yes, It’s been a heck of a lot of hard work and moving in the middle of the DELTA was not a good idea (or my choice.) but it has undoubtably been worth it. It was a really great prompt for me to observe other more experienced teachers at my school and read a load of books I’d wanted to read for a while (but never quite got round to reading). It’s made me question some of my beliefs and actions and experiment with different methods.
Personally, I think I would have benefited more from doing the course face to face as I frequently wanted to ask a question (or five) to clarify what my tutor meant exactly, with an online course, you may end up with a long delay where you feel unable to do anything in case you do the wrong thing.
My tech usage
I was keen to mostly use my iPad and did for a very long time, but by the end of LSA 2 I was almost exclusively using my Mac. This was mainly due to some syncing issues between scrivener on my Mac and iPad (It kept creating duplicate files), I didn’t want to deal with those issues so I stopped using it on my iPad (most of the time). But the main reason was that I started to use my iPad to look at ebooks that I had and my Mac to write on. This was an easier set up than using the iPad as both for books and writing AND I had more space as I could use a desk at work and home after we moved.
Despite that, occasionally I had to use my iPad as it has a copy of word (which is free for smaller than 10″ screens) and sometimes pages/scrivener causes strange things to happen with word documents. Furthermore, sometimes I just couldn’t take a laptop and all the junk in my bag. An iPad was much more portable and so could always be taken with me.
Scrivener was such a useful service for me to use. The ability to focus on a particular section and quickly jump up and down the document really helped. Furthemore I could keep sections that I needed to cut or wanted to rewrite in a “research” folder. This really helped me to be more aggressive with my editing as I knew I could go back to the original. It wasn’t neccasery and there are alternative ways to do the same thing, but seeing as I had scrivener, I went for it.
DEVONThink also proved to be a really great tool, it’s support for different file formats including PDF and marking up documents really helped me to keep the relevant documents relating to how I should submit assignments and their requirements as well as some useful PDFs relating to each LSA and assignment.
On to module three
I guess (providing nothing goes wrong) I just need to move on to module three now. I feel a lot more confident after module two and I really enjoyed the whole experience. It wasn’t easy and I didn’t help myself at times, but I found it valuable.