Having had little experience of creative writing and having never kept a written journal in my life, I’ll admit to being a bit sceptical about this blogging malarkey. Indeed when I decided to produce a weekly Blog I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to meet the deadlines albeit they are self imposed. I have never regarded myself as being a particularly reflective person. I have a poor memory and often just barge on ahead without thinking things through properly and luckily my instincts often serve me well.
Having said that, I must admit now that I’m doing better than I expected and the requirement to think about the next “episode” seems to be improving my ability to reflect on my activities in general. I wonder if encouraging this type of activity would work with young learners moving into post 16 education. While I acknowledge that there are many mature learners both in HE and FE, statistics published by the SFC suggest that around 70% of learners in Scotland’s universities and colleges are aged between 16 and 20 and might be considered as so called “digital natives”.
It strikes me that introducing Blogs as an integral part of some courses would be a very appropriate method of encouraging young people to be confident individuals, responsible citizens, effective contributors and successful learners, the four capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence, an initiative underway in schools in Scotland now being introduced into FE colleges. Blogging and also other learning technologies such as ePortfolios, are aimed at enabling reflection, self assessment, peer assessment and use systems that can provide great functionality, accommodate a wide range of digital media, are user friendly and evidently a more attractive medium that pen and paper.
Our young people or digital natives might be very IT savvy but I’m not convinced that, in the main, they are particularly reflective or able to take responsibility for their own learning effectively. Perhaps incorporating Web2.0 / web publishing tools as legitimate learning technologies and even formalising their use within the curriculum, say within the core skills, might provide opportunities to improve information skills, digital literacy and motivate learners.