Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blog #8 Reflection on Blogging

“Most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read.”

- Frank Zappa

This is our last blogging assignment for this course.

I like blogging.

After this course is over, I’m going to continue blogging.

Blogs (short for Weblogs) are essentially websites used as journals. Not unlike throwing a message in a bottle in the middle of the ocean, blogging can be a cathartic exercise in narcissism for an audience that may not exist. But it has the potential to be so much more.

Our eight-blogging assignments have re-sparked my interest in writing. I’ve written in personal journals, created newsletters, and even blogged before but none of them have been like this blog. The platform this blog has given me is comfortable. I’m an educator – this self-learning journey in informal research and reflection suits me, especially if it may be useful to others.

The incredible part of blogging is reading and commenting on the blogs of others. Then it’s more like a community. And I have learned a lot from our blogging community. Which brings up the discussion on social media technologies.

We’ve concentrated on our blogs how emergent social media technologies can be used in education. Through that discussion I developed an interest in using personal learning networks for students to supplement their education, and professional learning networks for professional communities to improve communication and staff development.

Education in the 21st century is already radically different from when I was in school. The fix is obviously in that education will become even more radically different by the time my daughters leave school. Education and professional staff development will become more individualized and available beyond the normal school/work day. Hence the need for personal learning networks.

Researching from a student’s perspective is a good example. The availability of legitimate research resources online is beyond what was available even just a few years ago. Information overload is an apt description. Organizing that information is the current direction of social media technologies. Social bookmarking, feeds from Really Simple Syndications (RSS), and newer emergent technologies prevents information overload by organizing the sites and updates on just the information you want to one place - a personal learning network.

The aha moment came to me as I created a personal learning network to keep track of other blogs. It was like the difference between drinking from a water fountain and from a full blasting fire hydrant.

It’s been great. Like I said, I’m going to continue blogging. I hope you will too.

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