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Personal experiences of blogging

I discovered blogs while a graduate student taking online courses. Most of my courses required reading a couple of articles on the topic at hand, or sometimes a book or journal article or two. The assignment required responding to the readings, and to support your response it was required that you find at least two other articles that supported your response. Fortunately, I discovered blog authors that were writing about the topics and the world of blogs became instantly relevant. Shortly after that, I discovered content aggregators and a way of saving enormous amounts of time by collecting the best blog authors in one application that did all the work of updating the blogs and giving me organized ways of finding new information for my studies. I would not have survived without these new tools and the process they allowed me to develop. I also started my own blog and communicated with a lot of educational technologist who were interested in the same issues as I was. There was a community of learning designers and people with experience in new technologies that kept me learning and growing. It still is happening today, as I have become a part of this professional group that keeps me engaged in my industry and its participants.

Along the way I discovered that I was doing things differently. As I went to find resources for my assignments, I found new types of information that interested me. As I wrote and responded to other’s blogs, I got feedback and gave it. I found out about a new concept in education called “learning objects” which became a focus of my studies for several years. In that process, I also discovered something about myself. I enjoyed discovery. It was my interests that I persued, not the teachers. I was on a journey that I directed and it was rich and meaningful to me. I discovered that I could read an exciting idea and then generate a lot of additional ideas from the inspiration. It was a key that unlocked a traditional process of doing what teachers expected of me, and instead doing what I was driven and passionate about. I became a self-directed learner and never looked back.

So are all these assignments and ventures into new technologies just to keep you frustrated? I hope not. I hope you also will discover what tools and processes will be meaningful for you. As Jay Cross and Clark Quinn said that as more organizations compete on knowledge and learning the winners will be those whose employees learned how to improve their learning. “They will learn about learning and in the process they will learn about themselves.”

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