Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Half an Hour: Should All Learning Professionals be Blogging?

Collateral Damage Affinity GroupColorado Communities for Justice and Peace via Wikipedia

Stephen Downes makes the case for one of the roles I model in the district:
Half an Hour: Should All Learning Professionals be Blogging?: "the difference represented in the shift from traditional classroom based learning and network learning. The idea of the latter is that learning occurs when the learner immerses him or herself in a community of pratice, learning by performing authentic tasks, learning by interacting with and becoming a member of the community.

But this only works if the members of the community share. It only works if they are prepared to make talking about what they are doing a part of doing what they are doing. As Arruda points out, there are good reasons why they should do this. But I would add, it's the only real way to effectively incorporate large numbers of new members into the practice. By doing and showing, practitioners can as effectively teach as teachers teach by telling (indeed, I would argue more effectively). And they can do it without having to establish a special infrastructure and institution."
How can we expand the practice? Downes identifies one of the barriers is people's perception of lack of time for an add-on. He identifies a solution- substitute more effective practice:
What needs to happen is that the normal note-taking that happens in the meeting - whether by an official recorder or by attendees (or, ideally, both) becomes the blog. The process of having the meeting is the process of creating the post. The result is that the creation of the blog post takes no extra time, and so both the group leader and other staff save a lot of time.
How will we change our practices? Terry Hanna and I experimented with this approach using the District's learning network in Elgg at the last Service-Learning Leadership Team meeting.
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