There are lots of reasons to blog and you can create a blog for personal learning/reflection, as a personal portfolio, for your department, sports club, module, tutorial class or any other group; departmental/faculty news blog; event or conference. The possibilities are endless!
However here are some of the reasons we think are most important:
1. Open Reflection – How many times do we actually just sit down and take time to reflect on what we have learned? How many times do we go to a conference or a lecture and it is speaker after speaker after speaker, with no time to sit down and reflect on what we have learned? Instead of simply dumping information into our brains, we have to take time to think about what we are learning and make meaningful connections.
2. Portfolios – you can use your blog as both as a “learning portfolio” (here is what I am learning right now) and a “showcase portfolio” (here is my best stuff).
3. Developing Literacy with Different Mediums – Blogging is a great way to write and share ideas, but there are many other ways you can share content through this platform. Using a site like SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/ can give you an easy opportunity to share your actual voice with the world. YouTube https://www.youtube.com is an obvious one, but even presentations through SlideShare www.slideshare.net are helpful and can be used to tell stories in many different ways. The nice thing about a blog is that basically anything with an embed code can be placed into that space. This gives many different opportunities for you to share your voice while becoming fluent in a wide range of 21st century literacies.
4. Creating an Open Archive of Learning – At any point, I can go back to the beginning of my blog and see what I have learned. Even 600 posts later, I can see how I have grown, what my thought process has become and how has it developed. If I’m organised and if I tag and categorize it properly, I am easily able to Google my own work. Employers will undoubtedly Google you and check your social media feeds so its always worthwhile to ensure that they find something positive about you. In addition, tagging and categorising posts makes it a lot easier to go back and revisit what you have learned in the past, as opposed to flipping through notebook after notebook, trying to find something extremely specific.
5. Developing a Positive Digital Footprint – This is vital. You should be able to have a positive Google footprint by the time you graduate!