PIDP 3250 – Blogs as a Reflective Learning Tool

As the PIDP 3250 course draws to an end, I thought it would be fitting to reflect on Blogs as a reflective learning tool. To be a critical reflector is important across many professions. Persuading students to reflect purposefully and critically is an arduous and challenging task and students often resist opportunities to reflect. I learnt that reflection serves as a bridge between experiences and learning, and increased learning can occur from reflecting on an experience or situation. Reflection can promote deep learning and can be used as a strategy for students who embrace lifelong learning. A blog for reflective journal writings was used as an integral component in the PIDP 3250 course. I regard the education blog as a powerful and effective technology tool for students and teachers alike. I think blogging is educationally sound for teaching students because it provides a space for students to share opinions and learning and thus allows for students and teachers to learn from each other. Blogs also provide the opportunity for collaborative learning, giving students the opportunity to read their classmates blogs. This would not be possible in a regular classroom setting. Blogging, therefore, engages students in conversation and learning. Blogging was a great way for me to demonstrate engagement and interest in the ongoing forum discussions. Even though I was new to the blog environment, I found it easy to write and post entries using the blog environment. Due to the user friendliness and the interactive nature of the blog environment, I liked using it. As an educational tool, blogs may be integrated in a multi-faceted manner to accommodate all learners. I hope to integrate the use of blogs in my classroom as an opportunity for students to reflect on their learning, and as a powerful tool to enable scaffolded learning.

An article I recently read highlights the educational benefits of blogs. In addition to providing teachers with an excellent tool for communicating with students, other educational benefits of blogs are: (Crie, 2006)
•Highly motivating to students, especially those who otherwise might not become participants in classrooms.
•Excellent opportunities for students to read and write.
•Effective forums for collaboration and discussion.
•Powerful tools to enable scaffolded learning or mentoring to occur.

Reference:
Crie, M. (2006). Using Blogs to Integrate Technology in the Classroom, Education Up Close, Teaching Today, Glencoe Online. Using Blogs to Integrate Technology in the Classroom, Education Up Close, Teaching Today, Glencoe Online. Retrieved June 21, 2014, from http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/educationupclose.phtml/47

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