This week we don’t have any scheduled classes as it is a study week. I know what you’re thinking – “Why are you even writing/bothering us with a blog post?” – and it is a good question. Let me tell you for why:
- Because one of the main reasons I started this blog was to get into the habit of writing regularly, observationally and critically. It has become a ritual that is hard to break.
- Because this week has been host to our ‘Get Ahead‘ conference!
The Get Ahead conference is an event that this year was organised by a second year education student called Dom (from our Zig Zag writing session a few weeks ago). It was full of handy workshops aimed at improving our study skills, and helping with post graduate employment prospects. As you can see from the leaflet below, there were a range of workshops which were lead by both students and lectures.
The observant among you may have noticed that Megan and I also ran a work shop. It was supposed to be called Social AcadeMedia (unfortunately there was a typo on the leaflet) and was about how social media – and the internet in general – could be used to help students with their studies in ways they may not have previously considered. We primarily discussed apps that many students already use socially, such as Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook. We also discussed the benefits of regular Blogging and using Google Docs as a tool for collaboration. We then explained how each of these apps could be used to resolve problems that many ‘non traditional‘ students face, such as not being able to attend group work sessions due to proximity, part time work or family commitments.
A 360° view of the room we used for our workshop
Unfortunately we only had 2 or 3 people turn up to our workshop. To be honest I was a little disheartened at first, as both Megan and I had put a lot of ourselves into our presentation. HOWEVER, quantity does not always represent worth. Our audience – small though the may have been – seemed really impressed with our talk, especially when we showed them Google Docs. It seems that they had never heard of it before, and that it was the perfect solution to some problems they had recently faced while trying to arrange meeting up to work on group project. Their enthusiasm during those few minutes while we explained its potential and showed them how to use it more than made up for my initial disappointment.
After we had given our little talk, Mandy came around to take some photos for the Get Ahead Twitter page. Click on the image below to have a look at the days events.
After our workshop I went to go and watch Tom give an animated talk on ‘How to make your dissertation dazzle’. Even though I’m a little way off having to worry too much about that, a lot of the talk was super relevant in regards to our upcoming research findings. Toms workshop was followed by a free lunch, tasty cupcakes, and the chance to talk to some of the other students and lecturers about how they had found the day so far. As far as I could tell the general consensus was that it had been a successful day. It was well structured, informative and diverse. Here’s looking forward to next year’s.