On bloggin’ as a reflective practice

Seth Godin’s comment on what matters in blogging is “the humility that comes from writing it… the metacognition of thinking about what you’re going to say”  struck me. When I first began blogging for my first adult learning class, I was a bit anxious for various reasons – just what will I say? What if someone else reads it? What will they think of what I write? Will anyone comment in a destructive or constructive way? and so on… However, after some time and perhaps with some bruising of my ego (is that how we become more humble?)  just from the mere effort of expressing myself with the idea anyone with access to the web might possibly come across my blog and see what a fool I am…, I began to realize that, yes, I am the one who benefits from writing my blog – the process of thinking about what I’m going to say really takes my learning/understanding deeper. I do believe blogging has supported my reflective practice. It has helped me gain insight into how I am seeing/thinking/understanding things along my journey of learning.

I have also found that when I read other’s blogs and comment, it further develops my thinking about how I think. I also consider that that blogging has also helped me become more authentic. I can’t say that I am truly authentic, but the process of reflective practice that goes on in writing a blog has also helped me to know myself better – to see some thinking that I might not have seen before. It’s also quite a process to actually put out some ideas or thoughts into the public. It helps me when I write to consider that whatever I put out is valid and real for me, at least as best as possible at that moment. I know that when I look back at some of my earlier posts I see some flaws in my thinking or flashiness of some sort sparkling through my postings. And that’s interesting to even be aware of a change.

One of the points that Downes makes is that blogging can be a way to participate in a wider community and really starts by reading.  I have not really ventured so far into the blog world to post many comments on blogs outside of fellow members of the adult learning program. However, I will say that I do read several blogs on different topics. I have found them to be of interest. I was using Google Reader to aggregate blogs that I have found interesting, but I just set up a Netvibes.com account within the past week and have been creating several different dashboards. It interesting to see how different topics can be feed to one location where I can access them whenever I need or want. It does take a bit of time to set up, but I can see it will be useful for some things for me. One area that I have set up is collecting various sources that list job opportunities into one place.

One of the points that Tom Peter’s (in the above video with Seth Godin) says  is that a blog can help to establish one’s personal presence or brand. I have not moved this far into the blogsphere yet. I’m not so comfortable with that for now. A question I’ve asked my self from time to time is whether I will continue to blog after finishing my adult learning program next spring. At times I have thought of starting a blog outside of my adult learning blog, but haven’t yet. If I were to do so, I would want it to have a purpose and meaning and not just be blather about this or that… I will say that my experience of blogging as a part of my graduate education has opened the possibility of continuing to blog.


6 Responses to “On bloggin’ as a reflective practice”

  1. 1 Jeff Nugent 14 September 2010 at 9:32 pm

    In a nutshell….”I do believe blogging has supported my reflective practice. It has helped me gain insight into how I am seeing/thinking/understanding things along my journey of learning.” I agree…

    Bottom line here is that I don’t think you could ask for more. However, the trick for me has been to stay with it and make it a habit of mind if you will…in order to have the greatest gain. I have come to accept that it is a slow process for me…sometimes going for months with just a single post…I guess I have to be OK with that.

    • 2 bluesky55 14 September 2010 at 11:16 pm

      Yes, that seems to be it. To stay with it. One thing that I’ve gleaned from our readings on blogging is that idea of referencing other resources, may be a blog, a book read or a conversation – something that sparked a reflection or struck a chord. I think I have done this in the past, but I think it’s helpful to cite it and even create a link to a source, if online.

      I also had a look at some of the links on openness and education that you left in your previous comment. I found them quite interesting. I found them quite interesting. One made me wonder just where higher ed is going, … will the formal institutions and their hallowed halls become relics of bygone days??? It blew me away to realize how the cost of education has increased over the past 30-40 years. Student loans may be the ticket out, either…

  2. 3 Janet 15 September 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I also found Seth Godin’s comment “the humility that comes from writing it… the metacognition of thinking about what you’re going to say“ as pretty intense. I hadn’t considered blogging this way and I think there is a lot of validity to it.

    There seem to be perhaps three major categories for reason for blogging: personal development, marketing and contributing to the greater good. Most of the reasons for blogging can fit into one or the other. The cynic in me doesn’t care for the blogs that are just another marketing ploy . . .

    • 4 bluesky55 15 September 2010 at 8:16 pm

      Hi Janet, I am not so interested in the marketing ploy either. However, I think if you have a business and you share some of your insights, experiences, or even tips, I don’t really see anything off base in that. I guess it’s the attitude. I see that Michelle Martin has a business, but I also see that she shares a lot of information, insight, experience that is valuable, even if I never solicit her for her business expertise. If I were interested in finding a consultant in her field, her blog would give me a very good picture what I could expect and a place to start a conversation. I feel there is a transparency there and that would be what is important for me.

      I have seen blogs that have a pushiness to them and I don’t stay too long there. I guess we just have to find something that meets our interests, values, etc…

  3. 5 jmhuebner 22 September 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I also really was taken by Seth Grodin’s statement, as I’ve felt I put way more thinking into my blog posts than what I deemed really necessary. But that is the way I’ve learned so much more. While it may be considered going down a rabbit hole, at least you can learn something interesting along the way. Writing a blog outside of class would also be interesting – perhaps start with our introductions on the first day of class – what are you an expert in?

    • 6 Jonathan West 22 September 2010 at 2:03 pm

      I don’t see blogging as a rabbit hole for me. I feel I have benefited greatly from my own blogging. However, I see a web search for knowledge and/or information sometimes results in the rabbit hole experience for me. I guess I could have gone down some kind of similar paths in the past without the use of the net, and it would have taken much longer and probably more effort. I could consider that a rabbit hole on the web could be much shorter than non-web based…

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