Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Technology Enhanced Reflection Practices

How Ignatian!

In our reading assignment, How can teachers help students reflect on and
communicate their own learning?
, the author discusses the need for students to reflect on their learning. The discussion of metacognition is appreciated. It's interesting to read articles advocating blogging for reflective purposed when recent data from the Pew Internet and American Family Project ("Social Media and Teens" Feb. 3, 2010) found that teens are blogging less these days.

Brebeuf uses blogging for multiple reflective processes. Students going on overseas exchange programs or mission trips blog while away from school. They share their experiences, thoughts, and insights on encountering new cultures. Students blog in science classes about PBL assignments. They reflect on discoveries made during lab processes. Students blog in their English classes to reflect on readings and characterizations. We blog in Social Studies, Religious Studies, and Computer Applications. We do a lot of blogging.

Most reports of blog integration are positive. The level of discussion in the classroom has increased. Students keep in touch beyond geographic boundaries. Ideas and passions are shared and developed. The downside has been the authenticity of the product (as the article also mentions). Students will not full engage in blogging if it's over monitored, over-programed and over-structured. I think teachers sometimes show reluctance in letting go control of the process. Authentic blogging (or any social media enterprise) requires us the adults to step out of the process. Reflection is very personal. It can not be forced. I would argue for more student-centric blogging. Let the students control the parameters and more authentic reflection will take place.

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