Core activity 8.3 was to review a podcast produced by a course colleague in a recent activity. I selected Jan Moreland's recording, which is available in Jan's blog post: Using wikis for reflective practice. Jan taks about how her school has used wiki technology in an effort to encourage reflective practice amongst school teachers.
The recording was very clear, without background noise or distortion, and Jan's voice was measured both in pace and volume, which made it easy to follow.
Jan spoke clearly on her subject without hesitation or repitition, and it was evident that she had carefully thought through the content and progression of her recording. It was well constructed - I found the introduction sentence at the beginning, telling me what was to come, particularly useful, and that the couple of requests for comment and feedback were well-placed, particularly given the subject matter of CPD.
The audience for this podcast were other H808 participants, but Jan's blog makes her work more widely available. The clarity of her explanations means that this work will have wider value to other educational professionals, as well as being understandable by those who are perhaps less familiar with teaching and CPD developments.
Length, interest and engagement
3 and a half minutes. This looks short when I write the length, so I was impressed at the scope of content that could be included in a short piece, without it being hurried or excessively brief. Jan made, expanded and developed several points, and held my interest throughout. I would say that the length was appropriate given the task, but I would happily have listened to a substantially extended debate - the subject matter was interesting and is deserving of further discussion. Perhaps when TMA deadlines are out of the way!
Academic quality and suggestions for improvement
This piece is based on some action research Jan has completed, and also includes several points which she offers as her opinions. I feel this is a nice balance. Jan mentions at the beginning of the recording that she will refer to a journal article by her, but I felt that this was then not very clearly referenced in the rest of the piece - I couldn't quite tell which parts of the recording related to the journal, and which were views only in the podcast. I'm sure the article provides an interesting extention of the content in the recording, so given an opportunity to record a more substantial piece this could be included. However, for the purposes of the H808 task the recording was fine - I'm just interested and so would like to be able to hear/see more another time!
Suggestions for use
This recording discusses the successful steps taken by one school to develop their CPD programme for teachers. It will provide useful suggestions for others looking to develop their CPD offerings, or for those interested in the use of wikis. Jan's requests for suggestions to improve their practice using wikis also mean it could also offer a nice context for a CPD brainstorm on successfully developing wiki use.