The motivation for starting this blog is that it is a required part of a Multimedia and e-learning MSc I am starting in September. However, I have been thinking about blogs and blogging for some time, and first set up this WordPress site a few months ago.
I’ve spent the time between then and now reading some other people’s blogs (have a look at my Blogroll in the sidebar) but I haven’t got round to posting anything of my own, until now….
I think what has held me back has been a lack of purpose. But now that a new academic year is about to start, for myself and my students, it feels like a good time to begin putting pen to paper.
I have defined 3 main purposes for the blog……..
1. as reflective practice
The value of reflective practice for educators has been well documented (John Dewey, David Kolb, and Donald Schön). Yet it is often difficult to make time for meaningful reflections during a busy teaching practice. A recent post in School Library Monthly echoed my thoughts. “I’m acutely aware that I’m flooded with input without having the time to arrange that input into meaningful patterns”
For me to reflect regularly it is important for me to have a structured format to follow to make it easier and therefore more likely that I will write up my reflections. During my Cert Ed, I used the Driscoll model of ‘What’, ‘So What’, ‘Now What’
However, I have recently across a model put forward by Peter Pappas which uses the terminology of Bloom’s taxonomy which is well structured but also allows for deeper reflection. Peter has produced an excellent Prezi presentation which shows the advantages of reflective practice.
I have set up a template using the Bloom’s taxonomy structure in the ‘Reflections..’ page of this blog, which I can easily update on a daily, or weekly basis. For now, I have password protected that page which is probably not in the true the spirit of blogging. When, I feel more confident about publicly sharing my thoughts I will consider publishing those pages. What would you do?
2. As an e-portfolio collection
During the summer I looked at two open source courses to do with open learning and e-portfolios. The first was an Open University Openlearn course: Creating open educational resources
I started to collect resources for this course using Mahara.org because it links with Moodle the VLE used at my college, and so I felt it would be useful for me to learn.
However, whilst I was working through the Openlearn course I found out about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and registered on the Epcop Mooc which has some fabulous resources on e-portfolios. In this video Dr Helen Barrett explains why we need to find, gather and connect the pieces of our lives.
More links from the Helen Barrett, who is known as the grandmother of e-portfolios:
3. As a record of professional development
This animation explores the possibilities of using e-portfolios for recording achievements and professional development.
By defining the purposes of keeping this blog and setting up the structure, I hope to set up good practice and habits in recording my own lifelong learning.