Feet In The Starting Blogs

One of the key learning and teaching strategies to come out of my almost-completed postgraduate certificate in higher education is the use of blogs – by academic staff and students alike – to document, store, expose and share our collective, collaborative learning journeys, sharing our experiences and allowing others to engage with our work.

Already, learners on Bsc Radio Production & Technology’s TECH2005 and TECH3013 modules have launched their blogs, which (provided there has been successful use of tags and categories) are amassed at radio.our.dmu.ac.uk

Last year, delivery of courses set-up, configured and encouraged blogging – but it was one of those strategies that start well, but eventually dissipates to those with a technological and/or journalistic leaning.

This year, delivery will focus on the absolute necessity of keeping blogs about our experiences. TECH3013 lab groups will have time at the end of each session to enter a blog post – even notes to be returned to later, saved as a draft – and keep the blog rolling.

Whilst there is ‘a curriculum’ for any course, the nature of modern higher education teaching and learning demands that problems are experienced – not taught. Guided-through; not pointed-out.

This is why blogging about the situations that we find ourselves in provides such a vital resource, for both the producer and the consumer: recording, reflecting, discussing  – even analysing and evaluating – our individual and collective efforts during the experience provides vital evidence bases from which further work and future strategies can be derived.

That’s the academic rationale: but before learners accuse me of sucking every last ounce of fun out of the practice of blogging, there’s the way you sell it: in a technological culture where the individual can be as ubiquitous as the old media complex, creating one-on-one connections with people all over the digital diaspora, the sell is simple: this is about you.

It’s yours. You own it. You don’t have to put anything on there that you’re not entirely happy with. It is your personal log, but also your demo – your audio, photo and video work should be completely integrated. In a world where social media demands people be short, snappy and funny – blogging does force/allow you to edit yourself – show your talents off to best effect, think about what you’re publishing, show your thoughtful, intelligent and reflective side.

Then you just cut and paste your links to Facebook and Twitter.

About Simon Walsh