I promised to write a summary of the responses I received to this post on blogging as reflective practice, so here it is (better late than never!).
Not only did I write about blogging as a mechanism for learning on this blog, I wrote about it on EMC’s internal social media site (EMC|ONE) as well. Here is a summary of the responses from both places:
- Blogging is used to interact with communities of special interests if none exist in your current network. Sometimes people were pleasantly surprised that blogging introduced them to peers they didn’t even know about until these people commented on their blog posts.
- Some people seemed to appreciate the benefits of the reflection they had to do to write a post more than the amount of comments a post received.
- Blogging helps show how online networks evolve and react to information.
- Blogging helps open up new ways to think about a topic.
- Blogging is much more than a “training tool”, it is a “career tool”. I think this is important – I framed the question in a strict instructional technology sense. But I was quickly called on that, and reminded that blogging really is a career tool – it’s probably one of those “knowledge worker skills” that people working with information should really become proficient.
- Many people (including myself) can’t blog about their day-to-day activities, but blogging has helped them learn more about the industry in which they work.
- Blogging helps open up new avenues for development. By reflecting and writing on different topics, as well as expanding your professional network, new ways to use your current skills start opening up.
- A couple of people reminded me of how things used to be done. People used to take the time to write journals, letters, and other written forms of correspondence. Sitting down to physically write these documents required people to slow down and really think about the ideas they were trying to convey in written format. Maybe blogs are a throw-back to those times.
So, I think we can definitely say that blogging can be used to learn. Blogging makes people slow down, think about their topics, and reflect on what they know (or what they think they know). Blogging helps to expand a personal or professional network.
I would think blogging can also be used as an instructional technology for an individual educational event such as a class, or even better a boot camp.
For myself, I’ll continue to blog for all of the reasons listed above. I’m learning so much about our industry, and also learning so much about education. My network has really expanded, I am bummed the economy is tanked because I can’t see me being able to travel to a conference to meet any of them in person. We’ll just have to keep building ties until things look up, or a conference rolls into Boston. 🙂