I’ve been mulling this post over for a few days now. But after reading some of Harold Jarche’s posts, I have decided now is not the time to be scared to speak up.
I know everyone does not understand the big deal about blogging. I’ve even heard it said that if people have time to write a blog, they obviously have too much time on their hands. Well, since my blog is all about corporate education, I want to talk about how blogging is actually an educational tool.
Blogging can be used as reflective practice. Now what is reflective practice? This paper (Blogs, Reflective Practice, and Student-Centered Learning) defines reflective practice this way:
Reflective practice is an approach to learning that encourages thought about what has been experienced and seen, which can then drive new theories and investigations to test those theories, leading to new experiences that may, or may not, validate the original ideas. This leads to them being modified, extended, and refined, and the cycle continues.
So basically when you blog, you have to think about what you have read, how that compares to what you already know or what you have experienced, and that comparison helps you to construct new mental models that you articulate in written form (your blog).
That article outlined the benefits to blogging in two areas:
You have to post regularly, you have to think about *what* to post, you have to collect information/experience things and then distill your thoughts so that you can communicate them effectively. Added to this is the experience blogs give you about internet technologies (html, linking, searching, installing and managing blog software, user design, etc). Blogging follows the reflective cycle of planning –> experiencing –> observing –> reflecting.
Blogs help form communities. People blogging about the same subject read each other’s blogs, comment on each other’s blogs, and create new posts based on the posts on other blogs. It greases the wheels for the cycle of reflective practice. Blogging helps experts dive deeper into a subject (innovate?), while providing observational materials for novices.
We’re starting to see some reflective practice internally, but not in the form of blogs and definitely nothing that has been orchestrated. So my question is: would blogging work as a reflective practice if we tried to orchestrate it?
Michele Martin over at the Bamboo Blog wrote a post on Creating an Organizational Culture of Reflective Practice where she recommended ways to build structures to support a reflective culture. These structures included creating internal blogs, connecting employee blogs, building blogging into the close of a project, and creating project wikis. Most importantly, she suggests creating “structures and rituals that invite questions, conversation and stories”.
I’d like to see a way to tie blogging to individual learning events, just like K-12 teachers are doing. Not sure how that could happen in a busy corporate environment (esp one that does not value blogging as a way to learn).
One way she suggests doing this is to have your own “Big Question” a la ASTD’s Learning Circuit blog. Since I know alot of EMC folks follow me, I’m going to try it outside the firewall. (cue scary music here!!!) The question is for everyone, not just EMC folks.
Here are the rules:
Answer the question in a blog post of your own. Come back here, leave a comment and a link to the post. If you decide to blog on EMC ONE, don’t add the link here, just let us know to look for it internally. I’ll do a roundup of all the answers I get around December 15.
Here is the question:
Do you use blogging as a reflective practice? Do you blog about things that are directly related to your job duties? Has blogging increased your level of understanding about your role, your organization, or your field of practice?