Blogging – I just might have something to say!

Developing a blog, and blogging in general, has been an interest of mine recently. The handful of blogs I’ve been following provides entertainment and enjoyment, time for reflection, and a sense of connection with others through reading their stories (or subjects they blog about).

In the pursuit to learn more about blogs and how to blog, a colleague and I have been working with our “wonderfully supportive, talented, and knowledgeable” librarian, Sara Thompson (yes Sara – you deserve a huge shout out).  The actual goal is to develop an e-portfolio template for our students to create and submit as part of their final competencies requirements.  In this endeavor, Gene and I will create a blog, while setting a template for students to follow – and build on as they create their own portfolio/blog.

While reading the materials for our hybrid learning community – Five Common Pitfalls of Online Course Design, some learning moments emerged as I connected what I’ve done in my own online components of my classes, what I’m learning now, and my quest for blogging and e-portfolios.

Learning moment #1 – Students have something to say and want to share with one another.  In Pitfall #5, believing that individual student posts – are considered two way dialogue between each student and the instructor, not only misses opportunities to learn from one another, but I believe it sets the students up to possibly hide their authentic selves from one another.  Much like a F2F classroom where our quieter students can remain quiet, knowing that there are always students who like to talk, these students who have much to say, may not say much.  Blogging assignments, where students can share experiences, ideas, and who they are with one another provides greater learning moments.

Learning moment #2 – Confession – I am guilty of just putting “content” online and expecting students to consume content and call it learning.  As Sara helps Gene and I set up our blogs/e-portfolios, my hope is that the students share their practice, their experiences and have fun doing so.  In the counseling field, students may learn foundational information through lecture and reading, but it is the application of this information, integrated with counseling skills that tells us how much students have truly learned.  Each year I am amazed at the creativity, compassion, and competence my students demonstrate during their final oral defense.  With blogging, e-portfolios, and even uploading their individual practice sessions through video sharing, students can learn from one another and I can see their work throughout their time in the program.

Although I may only teach one or two hybrid courses each year, I plan on integrating blogs and student blogging into other classes.  After all – I know my students have many things to say and share with one another.


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One Response to Blogging – I just might have something to say!

  1. Sara says:

    Kathy, I can’t wait to see how these resources will be used in your program. Counseling is such a social, dynamic field – so many challenges and yet so much potential when it comes to incorporating technology! It sounds like your students will benefit most from a tool that allows both social interaction (questions, discussion, comparison) and the building of a sort of archive of case studies from each student. So much to consider – it’s exciting!

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