Blogs: Are we expecting too much from learners? (April 2006)

In discussions about how young people in education use technology, especially blogs, I often feel uncomfortable.

I’m sure that many westernised middle class children text message with ease, they can multitask with many media types, they are comfortable with the internet and computer
games and so on. But that does not make them predisposed to effective learning.
Using the technology and using the technology to learn are different things. Just because you know your video camera inside out, it doesn’t make you a good video director.

It seems to me that often what we are talking about when we say “effective e-learning”
is self-directed reflective learning. This used to take the form of homework tasks that encouraged internet use, or CD-Roms for catch-up or extension activities. Always optional. More recently, real blended learning has become more common, and rightly so.

I’m not sure what proportion of people are able to do high quality reflection on the their learning. It wasn’t too common when I was at school, and its not too common amongst adults I know. Some people, some learners will benefit from blogging, of course. And thats great – another tool in the teachers toolbox.

But there seems to be a drive to make blogging part of mainstream education, and I wonder if that’s just as constricting for learning styles as the text/lecture/essay model.

We can take a student to a blog, but can we make her reflect?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s