The theme for this month’s LEaD Writing Group was – Learning with blogs.
We explored our own experiences together with observations of how our students have learnt with blogs. A number of themes emerged:
Learning through reading
- Blogs can provide a good source of information and a way to get different views on the world.
Learning through writing
- The process of writing a blog enables the author to crystallise their thoughts – reflecting on their experiences, which is an essential part of the learning process.
- In addition, it is a space where people can ‘open up’ and explore the possibilities of writing. The neurodiversity tutors, who attended, said this could be the case for dyslexic students, who may find blogging liberating – being able to explain their experiences in their own words and in their own way.
- As a result, it is possible to build a sense of community by commenting on other people’s post – recognising they are not alone, which can help motivation.
- Blogging also provides opportunities to share good practice and let people know what you are doing.
Nonetheless, we recognised that there are challenges. Principally, in terms of doubts about writing:
“Am I doing this right? Is it what people want? How can I find my own style?”
So, how can you deal with these questions?
Read other people’s writing. Try to emulate that style of writing. Artists learn by ‘copying’ their heroes – for example, the Beatles copying Chuck Berry.
These questions illustrate another level of learning that takes place in the process of blog writing – you may be pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, building self-confidence, developing an awareness of your audience and experimenting with styles of writing. All of which are transferable to other mediums of communication.
We also read and discussed a blog post by Donald Clark – Blogs: vastly underused teaching and learning tool. Read the post. What are your thoughts about Donald Clark’s argument? Post a comment below. Alternatively, you could write a blog post about your reflections and share it on Learning at City.
If you’re finding it difficult to make time to write, come along to the next LEaD Writing Group sessions:
Wednesday 7th December, 13:00 – 14:00 (B314, LEaD Meeting Room, University Building)
Thursday 8th December, 13:00 – 14:00 (B310, LEaD Training Room, University Building)