Looking back over the 23 Things, which I studied in order, I see a collection of devices, tools and skills intertwined with each other, which can be used in combination with other Things to support the researcher in a variety of ways. The whole collection is larger than its parts.
Some weeks I have been on familiar ground, but still learned new things by delving that bit deeper (e.g. Wikipedia). Other weeks all the Things have been new to me. There are some things which I definitely want to explore further (e.g. reference management tools and altmetrics), some things which I am now using and others which I hope to use in the future.
As someone new to research I have more to learn from others’ papers, blogs etc. and feel that I have little to contribute at the moment. Thanks to some of these Things I now know of more sources of information. However I also know, from my previous experiences on LinkedIn, that by investing time connecting with colleagues, you can help others and reap unexpected benefits.
Of the greatest practical benefit to me at the moment was the material on Twitter and I saved a lot of time by discovering and using its advanced search features. This shows that learning more about a package can reap benefits, and you can recoup the time spent learning (a catch 22).
Possibly the underpinning thing was copyright and legal issues, which are so important when sharing your work online and using that of others.
On reflection my blogs haven’t been reflective, rather they have been statements. Also, I haven’t had time to explore the blogs of my fellow 23 Thingers, but I hope to remedy that. As my experience increases I will be better able to determine the things most useful to me and become more proficient in those. As such the 23 Things course has given me a taster of lots of things, enough to get started – and material and resources to refer to.
I enjoyed the course and discovered Things which I wouldn’t have found by myself. At the moment I feel a little like this fledgling but hope to find my wings soon.