Wednesday, October 15th, 2008...7:55 am

Blogs as glue and having an ‘open brain’

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I gave my presentation of blogs and the eflective practitioner as a webinar again last night if you want to see it it’s archived by wimba, its about an hour long. There was a great discussion at the end, particularly with Harold Jarche who picked up on 2 ideas in particular; the idea of blogs as the glue that holds together your e-life, and the other the idea of using a ‘gentle hand’ as the tutor with the blogs of students. He made some great comments on the session on his blog.  I’ll write more on the ‘gentle hand’ idea  shortly, but for now I want to return tot he idea of gluey blogs.

This started out as a metaphor for how the blog in our teaching  sits at the centre of the various  synchronous and asynchronous spaces we use, binding them together into a coherent whole. The  blogs act as the glue connecting the synchronous spaces for lectures and tutorials with the asynchronous spaces such as the discussion boards and students’ photographs in a real-time environment where posts can be quickly read and reacted upon individually or collectively.

But last night’s discussion, in addition to some other comments by Harold  on how blogs serve as a kind of repository for one’s thoughts or by  Michele Martin as an aid to reflection, and as a kind of ‘back up brain’ in Amy Gahran’s terminology, got me thinking that they effectively act as as the glue that binds together the e world and the tangible world, acting as a bridge between the two, and as a sace to think about how they relate to each other. Harold talked in a post on the work literacy workshop about how his blog is

‘a key component of personally managing my knowledge and that the act of blogging forces me to move from implicit ideas to explicit descriptions of these ideas. The discipline of blogging hones my thoughts and helps me to learn, while exposing these thoughts to others makes it more social, and human. I still believe that the blog is the most powerful social media tool available.’

and Amy talks about how to use a blog for 3 main reasons; to blog your initial brainstorming, to blog your research & discovery  and to blog your interactions. she goes on to say

‘The clincher to all this is to use your blog as your backup brain — or at least as a public notebook. Why not get more mileage out of work you would have done anyway by changing your habits toward managing information and communication publicly? Instead of keeping your thoughts, notes, and conversations to yourself, post them……this information will probably become more findable and useful to yourself as well as to others. Ever tried to find that old notebook where you stored conference notes from three years ago? See what I mean?’

So the blog is sticky, gathering up all of those thoughts, interactions, ideas, research, half finished concepts and glueing them together into a one place, that can then be searched, researched, edited and reedited at any point in the future.

Kind of like having an ‘open brain’ out there in the world for both the blogger and the audience to use, transparent, searchable and open source!



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