Blogging for learning

They say that the best way to learn something is to teach it.  In the context of learning and training, I see blogging as a way to process information, reflect on a topic, express opinions and thoughts and connect with and learn from like-minded others.

As for the potential advantages of blogging, I agree with the eLearning Provocateur that blogging is “a forum for free thought – something very rare in this fast paced, time poor, ultra standardised world”.

If you need more convincing about the advantages of blogging for learning, visit the Knowledge Start Blog list of 121 Blogs About Learning.

Potential disadvantages I see are that maintaining a blog can be a lot of work and if you want to keep readers interested you would need to post regularly which could take discipline.

23 Things

I came across an online self-directed learning program a few days ago and couldn’t resist the challenge, so I’ve registered along with 23 other learners.

The initiative is called Learn Camp and is open to anyone.  It’s a great initiative – facilitated by Mike Taylor.

Once registered, participants are encouraged to “experiment and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the context of information on the Internet today”.

The program goes for 12 weeks, with the aim each week being to spend a little time learning new technologies in a number of categories, including social networking, micro-sharing, social bookmarking, communication tools, collaboration tools, blogging and RSS.  All up we are being challenged with 23 things we can do on the web to explore and expand our knowledge of new tools and technologies.

This week is week 1 and is all about finding out about the program and getting an understanding of what it is to be a lifelong learner.  Joel Gardner’s article on “How to become a successful lifelong learner” was a good starting point for understanding this concept.  I also came across this article written by Brett and Kate McKay titled “How and why to become a lifelong learner” which I thought others may find interesting.  In this article they quote Dan Pink who argues that:

“We need three things to feel motivated about, and satisfied with our life: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Becoming a lifelong learner fulfills all three of these psychological needs”.

I have an all-time favourite video which I think is quite relevant to this self-directed learning initiative.   The video was created as a conversation starter – no doubt some of you have viewed it on YouTube – more than 696,000 others have! The video “explores the changes in the way we find, store, create, critique, and share information.  This video works especially well when brainstorming with people about the near future and the skills needed in order to harness, evaluate, and create information effectively”.