Blogging has become a primary mode of communication and news over the past few years. It has transformed how we take in information. For example, with blogging I have the freedom to pick and choose the my intake of media – tailored more to my interests rather than being subject to what the 6:00 news deems “newsworthy.”
As a professor of clinical mental health counseling at the Cascades campus (and taking the hybrid learning course), I had an assignment to post to this blog. My first time blogging ever! This assignment inspired me to think about how I use blogs currently and how I might be able to use them in the future. I have several blogs that I follow in my personal life – but what about my professional life? Blogs can become a major learning tool. For example, the APA Style Blog is a great resource to support students in their APA style formatting and composition.
Using a blog for teaching is a creative tool. One of the ways I might integrate a blog into my professional practice as a counselor is a marketing tool. Posting information about the newest evidence-based practice or a resource page would be good for both clients and students alike. In the counseling field, having a personal contact with the counselor prior to counseling helps the client evaluate if the counselor would be a good “fit.” I also think that having students’ reactions on new topics is a great way to evaluate their synthesis of what they are learning.
Blogs are also an excellent way that students can learn from each other. One of the articles that I read in preparation for this blog post was Five Common Pitfalls of Online Course Design.The “pitfall” that spoke most to me was ignoring the way students learn from each other. Sometimes I assume that students learn just from the course content, lectures, and other resources – but they learn just as much from their interaction with each other! Blogging is a powerful medium where they can express both their personal and their professional goals.
One of my challenges in thinking about hybrid learning is whether I will encourage students to blog for the short-term (e.g., the class) or the long-term (e.g., their practice). I would welcome any thoughts about this challenge!