Learning and advancement through blogging

I've been reading Dan Saffer blog about his experience on the MA Interaction design course in Carnegie Mellon for a while now. And I just caught his post about his interview by elearningpost.com.

Anyway I wanted to write a comment to Dan, but felt I had lots more to say and should bother him too much about it all. Oh its also good to see he now provides his rss feed in complete form. Wish more moveable type users would do this. Anyhow I'm going to pick through a few things in the interview.

Why do you blog your course?
In a way, it's about justifying the personal and actual expense of leaving work and going back to school: something I could point to and say, see, that's why I'm doing this, this is what I learned. This is why it was worth it. – Exactly…I really believe students are empowered by blogs because it not only gives them a voice but allows them to compare experiences with others in simular situations. See it would be great to have my interaction students commenting back all the time while Dan and others commented on the interaction blog. I know Dan's doing a MA and my students are doing BA but that shouldnt make a difference. In broader aspects blogs are great for justifing work to yourself. I look back through my blog and cant believe the amount of projects I have running and I can always check up on there progress even years later.

Didnt know Dan's class had a project blog. He finds it more useful than email, but I wonder if he finds instant messager useful too? I see lots of equals with my students wanting to setup there own website. For any of my students reading, read between the lines…

Has blogging helped you increase your learning network?
Dan brings up some healthy problems with blogging generally. The whole problem with quoting and citing is one so difficult to solve. I tend to say who dropped the idea or quote, but not too much because yes it can get really stupid. Only a couple of times in the interaction blog have students quoted me, and they tend to be Ian said today. As a open lecturer, I'm not that worred about students taking a little credit for something I suggest but it all depends on the situation. On the RSS comment thing, its a problem but I feel the barrier to entry is just right. Someone needs to change from RSS reader to web browser so they can write a comment. Most wankers wont be bothered to comment, while those who do really wanted to, and will leave something interesting to read.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.