Personal Reflection #2

InsomniaThis reflection is emerging in the wee small hours out of an inability to shut my mind off and let sleep embrace me. That, and having earlier read Lyn’s comments on procrastination…

The SP4Ed mOOC was a mixed experience for me; I found the topic of scenario planning fascinating, but the timeline challenging. For the 2 weeks I was part of it I felt like I was in a parallel world, not quite in sync with this one. For unavoidable personal reasons, I missed the first 4 days of the mOOC. I didn’t follow advice NOT to do every activity, choosing instead to work my way through the variety of activities I felt were giving me a scaffolded understanding of scenario planning. As a result, I was always a couple of days behind the timetable of activities, always wanting to catch up and contribute but never quite able to. The result was my microblogging was sporadic and I feel I missed timely opportunities to connect and network.

It wasn’t that there was too much to do (though the workload was intensive over such a short period) but rather that the selection of readings and videos were interesting enough to invite prolonged exploration. I compliment Wayne and Niki on the variety of stimulating resources and activities.

I really enjoyed delving into the processes and ‘worlds’ of scenario planning. I’ve learnt not to call scenario planning future prediction (although I’ve used the phrase in an early blog post) but rather a tool for planning for possible futures. It has already affected my perspective on planning in the Learning Technologies Steering Group I’m on at work. It’s reassuring that we have been looking at documents like the Horizon Reports in our strategic planning but there is also value in extending the scope and looking beyond the next five years.

However, I did not find my own scenario planning easy. I don’t think I’m a naturally creative thinker or writer and creating my matrix was a difficult process. I can see why scenario planning is undertaken mostly by groups of creative experts rather than individuals. I took on board what Wayne said about needing to test the scenarios against your drivers and found that I did indeed need to change one of my original key drivers. That was a lightbulb moment for me. I approached the article with trepidation (and a lot of procrastination). What really helped was identifying major events on a timeline. Once I had the bones sorted, I found that I enjoyed the writing process a lot.

Also interesting, and very instructive, are the blogs of my peers whose posts I find creative, insightful and often amusing. It’s great to have that resource at hand to provide an interesting range of perspectives and they contribute significantly to my own understanding. They can also be a bit daunting; the high quality challenging me to maintain a certain level of writing. I see that as a good thing to strive for!

It’s been difficult this week to switch focus back to my research topic and review essay. Getting a couple more annotated bibliographies under my belt has helped. I find I’m looking forward to the challenge, happy in the knowledge that I’ve completed part of the course assessment, and ecstatic about the extended deadline!
Right, off to bed and, hopefully, to sweet dreams!