Blog-[we]b + log
noun – a journal or diary written for public viewing on a website and consisting typically of personal reflections, commentary on current events, etc. arranged chronologically
verb -to blog is defined as to write on a website that comments on current events of a specific topic
The words log and journal are used interchangeably, although traditionally we consider journals to be records of personal events, thoughts, aspirations and disappointments. As a vehicle for expressing innermost secrets without the expectation of exposure, a journal is private, whereas a log has the connotation of a more public record of events. An interesting fact regarding the etymology of the word log (in the nautical sense) is that it originally referred to a literal piece of hollowed out wood which was thrown over the side of a ship in order to measure the speed, and hence progress. In time, a ship’s log recorded details of all daily events in what was essentially an enclosed environment.
This got me thinking about the nature of blogs. Whilst they are indeed by definition a public platform: nothing on the web is private; surely writing about personal reflections is an oxymoron, or at least gives the sense of being such. Yet, increasingly we require students to post on blogs (usually on VLEs) as evidence of their individual learner journey. In my experience, learners/students have a tendency to initially balk at the idea. Could this be because of the act of making public (even if it is within the ‘closed environment’ of the college/uni) what might otherwise be considered to be a very personal, and therefore private venture? Reflective practice, particularly important in the field of education, takes time to hone and for us to get out of the mindset of focusing only on personal negatives or weaknesses. At first, we may feel like the hollowed out log trailing behind the ship, reflecting only as a means of measuring speed. As our learning develops however, we realise that progress is rarely about how long the journey took us but where it took us. Likewise, rather than the process resulting in feeling as if our insides have been hollowed out, true reflective practice provides strength and a sense of completeness.
So, is this process helped or hindered by blogging? I would like to think so. What do you think?
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Comments are very welcome.