I DO NOT WANT TO BLOG

I DO NOT WANT TO BLOG

Yes, I do not want to blog. This assignment has required tons of effort and bravery from me. It is not easy to start formulating my ideas into a coherent message for the class to discuss; or to build the confidence to write them as discussion generators and to contrast them with my classmates’ ideas to produce knowledge…. instead, I am afraid of what I am writing, and how people will react to the way I am expressing my ideas. I am feeling tempted to find pieces of information to share rather than expose my creative and deep thinking to my classmates and instructors’ frameworks of judging. I am also afraid that my ideas may be so poorly expressed that people don’t want to read this and therefore, they won’t comment. Which can be hurtful.

Having this feelings about this blogging assignments reflects very close to Gardner Campbell’s article and Michael Wesch TEDx talk. The article is about experiential learning in the digital era and how we are not only not taking the fullest advantage of it but we are rather falling in the same vicious habit of traditional learning: forgetting about inquiry or awareness of self-learning experiences. We are succumbing into Ku’hs prediction that learning is turning into syllabi program of how to continue the path towards a career, rather than seeing objectives to achieve by following a syllabus. We are forgetting that learning is a process that involves failure but also recovering and continuing pass that failing event. Like Michael Wesh TEDx’s lessons from baby George, who enjoyed and learned from every failing step, but continued to master taking that step down the stair.

Experiential learning is becoming an unknown process for students, at least in my personal experience in STEM/Engineering majors. Not even studying abroad, a popular activity among colleges, is an experience that students in these technical fields consider useful in their future careers. Education in engineering focuses in technical education, with little room for failure. And the use of the internet is following the same path, becoming more of a tool to transcribe knowledge rather than an experiential learning instrument.

Writing this blog not only required to bring my known information out, but to go through creative thinking, using self-judgment frameworks and learning from information. In other words, implementing a rational process of reflection and knowledge production. This process took place in the connections of the digital web, reaching out to other “places” to gain information for me to process with my own ideas, and also reaching out to my classmates for contrasting of ideas and learning generation. I am still nervous to read the reactions that my post can generate, but I am thinking it is a normal feeling when network experiential learning is not familiar field.

20 Replies to “I DO NOT WANT TO BLOG”

  1. I totally agree with the idea that “learning is a process that involves failure but also recovering and continuing pass that failing event”. This is how I learn (the story of my life!).

    But, how to deal with the misconception idea that education is only about grades? Fail an exam is part of the process. However, this generates students more pressure and instead of enjoying the learning process, it becomes a nightmare for them.

    1. I think that grades are important, specially as milestones for progres; however, they are not the end goal. I think that grades should be used to guide the student about his/her development of the content expected for the class. Difficult task? For sure it is, but that is the challenge for the new contemporary teachers!

  2. I appreciate your honesty! I feel similarly about blogging as well. I do feel vulnerable doing this, in a way.
    Experiential learning is an interesting concept. It makes total sense. What Wesch talked about in the TED video was inspirational. I walked out of class wanting to be that teacher, but I am secretly wondering, “What if he did made the same exception for every student in his classroom? Surely this singular student wasn’t the only one that could have benefited from such a freeing, personalized, experiential assignment!”
    How could we work it so that we, as educators, have the time for every student to work experientially? It’s something I have been thinking about.

    1. You bring a great point, I agree that it would be imposible to personalize education down to every single student. However, there are practices that should be adopted to pursue more the capabilities and potentialities of the individual to complement the collective knowledge of a class.

  3. I think Diana raises an important issue. When you think about it, if we didn’t fail we wouldn’t learn much! So, as we learned from baby George, learning is about trying, experimenting, exploring, following your curiosity….
    I want to thank you for setting up this blog, even though I believe that you didn’t want to! (Those ALL CAPS did get my attention!) And I do appreciate how daunting it can be to risk even a small piece of oneself in an open setting like this.
    I’m hoping though, that in a couple weeks you’ll be really glad you did this, and that you’ll discover the delights that can arise from having a conversation with a learning community around shared issues and concerns.

    1. Thank you for your response. Don’t get me wrong, although I was unfamiliar with blogging, I was somewhat excited to do it. But when the time of writing came, I realize how little experiential learning I am used to, specially when it comes to digital experiential learning.

      I am excited of these blogs because I think it will teach me not only to collect my ideas together into coherent thoughts but also to start networking and sharing this ideas so they can be contrasted with others.

  4. Hi MA, I have to say your picture and the title of this entry really go well together, and I have had exactly that same expression and feelings many times…reason why some times I would send private comments to authors of blogs (people I actually new) instead of making them on their blog, kind of being afraid of what others would think of my comment. Would it sound controversial? crazy? an utopia?….but that has changed…and now I realize I was actually preventing myself from connecting with others that my share the same opinions on the matter….and I think this could be also a challenge for Networked Learning to be exploited…how do you reach out to those afraid of taking the step to openly communicate to the world? guess a class like this one forces you, but will this work in other scenarios…let’s keep discussing

    1. Hi Carlos,

      Thank you for your comment. I agree with you, I think that blogging may not be successful in a Fluid Mechanics class…. maybe. How about trying some sharing of ideas, technical ideas, through blogs? I am sure many people will feel intimidated about sharing their ideas to the group, but pushing the limits is what lead us to accomplishments, right?

  5. I agree with you completely. Blogging can be intimidating, especially in a setting where a class is made up of so many different academic disciplines. This is my first experience into actively participating in a a blog myself, and though it’s odd to say it’s reassuring to see so many people who have similar initial apprehension. I think I would be more intimidated if everyone else was an established blogger and I was left to fend for myself. I think for all of us rookie bloggers, there’s room for us all to learn and grow at the same time. Who knows, we could all learn to really enjoy the process.

    1. I agree a lot with your view! Thank you for sharing. I think this continue practice of blogging will help us learn more about blogs, but also to be less afraid of trying other experiential learning activities.

  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and picture with us! In counseling there is a concept called “leaning into your discomfort”, it is said that is where growth happens…I hope this uncomfortable leaning will work out for you…fingers crossed!

  7. Miguel Andres, that makes two of us! I was also nervous and reluctant to start this blog, but from the comments I’ve received and reading others’ posts, it appears that we aren’t alone in these thoughts. I think that will allow us all to be more open and vulnerable in our writing, which excites me.

    I also find it interesting to read your post from the perspective of an engineering mind. As a higher education student, we’re constantly taught that failure is acceptable and that experiential learning is the best (but are we truly practicing that – I think not). So to hear these thoughts from someone in the STEM field, where, as you say failure really is not an option, I can only imagine how challenging a blog like this can be for you! I appreciate your honesty in this post, and look forward to reading more from you.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I think there different challenges for different fields. Bur for sure it is a miss-conception the idea that we have in certain fields where failure is not an option. I think being aware that failure is part of the learning process is fundamental to achieve at the end, better results!

  8. You are right, blogging in this class is different from just a self-reflection assignment. People’s judgement can hurt a lot if not in an inclusive culture. Luckily, we are an inclusive environment in this class, a learning community helping and understanding each other. It might be a good chance to get enough experiences from the good evaluations that help us grow and those helpless judgements that we do not need to care about at all. As we write more, we will become more confident and fluent in producing ideas and communicating ideas.

    1. Thank you for response! I agree, the more we practice the more we improve; and if it is pushing out of our confort zone, then even better!

  9. Your title makes me start to think about the drawbacks of blogging and network learning. However, interestingly, your content pushed me to think maybe blogging is a good idea. The process seems challenging. I’d like to challenge the challenging things.

  10. Your title and your picture definitely caught my attention! I think that time and practice will help you with blogging; after all experiential learning is about experiencing to learn, right? As an architect, we are used to built and develop models to receive public critique, which can be consider as experiential learning: putting your ideas in a model, expression them in a different way than by talking, and receiving feedback about it. Even thought I have this background, writing this blog was also a challenge, having to perform a task with little instructions give us a lot of freedom, which can be challenging

    1. Thank you for response! I agree, the more we practice the more we improve; and if it is pushing out of our comfort zone, then even better!

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