I would like to share a few words on the value of student blogs as a learning tool. I am working through an OU degree that is based wholly on ODE - 'Online and Distance Education' and it struck me that some of the work we are doing has particular relevance here.
PPG has thrived through its association with the internet, you might even say it has been instrumental in its development and expansion as evidenced through this forum and others like it. As well as the obvious social and commercial activities that surround the sport, there is a strong educational element attached to our online activities isn't there?
Distance education is not new, the Australians have been using its techniques since the 50's as remote communities needed a service to educate their young. They used HAM radio and 'snail mail', but this modern manifestation of the older 'University of the Air' has produced a new revolution. 'Collaborative eLearning' as it is now called was little understood when it first arrived and it still lives as a relative infant even within Higher Education structures around the world. That is changing now of course as we get a 'handle' on the 'pedagogical' challenges and start building training systems that 'work for humans'. Enough background, student blogs are a part of a network of tools being used and developed in this exciting field.
Student blogs are a powerful reflective learning tool that leverage personal experience in a very interesting way. Further, discovering that we are not alone with our challenges (be they based around skills or understanding) creates a bond between us. To weave value into our posts and cut down a little on the clutter it may help to focus a little on the sort of content we might write when sharing our experiences. Here are a few sub-headings that might get you going;
What was the learning situation or event? What have I learned and how did I learn it? How do I feel (good and bad feelings) about what I've learned and how I've learned it? How could I have learned more efficiently/effectively? What actions can I take to learn more efficiently and effectively for the future? In what ways do I need to change my attitudes, expectations, values and the like to feel better about learning situations?
Any adventurous sport, and particularly aviation based activity requires us to be vigilant in all matters where safety is concerned, particularly when we discuss flying matters between ourselves. A sound tactic would be to ensure that we are not prescriptive when reflecting upon our experiences don't offer advice - offer what you have learned, a reflection on your experience. Others may chip in and give their view, but we must always remember that a misconception - or worse, an unsupported/unqualified assertion might cost someone damage, injury or worse.
If you are offering the fruit of your experiences and what they mean to you, we all have the opportunity to learn and perhaps enlighten each other on our journey. Instructors and Mentors will be reading your training blogs to gain insights into your learning experiences as a way to improve their practice/develop their technique, not to laugh or criticise. They have been where you are and know what it feels like.
So please, use you training blogs, share your passion for flight and your experiences.