Some people are resistant to changes. Whatever the nature and possible consequences of changes, those people accept changes as something with prevalent disadvantages than advantages. I can add myself to this category of people. First thoughts about blogging during taught classes were negative, as having no experience of blogging before, it seemed no-value adding to my module learning at all. Overcoming my natural resistance I wrote some general entries that just presented an overview of the first two days of the module.
I really began to enjoy blogging when I realized that reflective writing my own thoughts and learning points, instead of just making an overview, is valuable for my learning. By blogging my thoughts on different discussions, taken place during seminars, I could explore and deeply explain for myself a lot of useful things related to leadership. Before experiencing blogging I believed that my thoughts are in my head and there is no need to write them to make them more clear for me. I was wrong. I understood that constructing your thoughts and experiences in one picture make me aware of my understanding and my point of view on things. Reflective writing helps to fix a picture in my mind and understand more deeply my values and my strengths as well as weaknesses. I understood that there is no use of knowing that you have thoughts or opinions about certain things without understanding how can they help you.
It’s like storing many things in one storeroom in your house, thinking that sometime you will need them. But time passes and you may forget about the things you gathered if you do not look after order in that storeroom. Storeroom that is occupied with many things that are not in order is similar to having many thoughts in own head that is not checked, reflected and put in order. If there is a disorder in your head, what can be said about one’s actions and behaviour?
Having clarified and constructed my own thoughts by reflecting learning points from seminars and from mini-projects made my learning much more effective and productive. Thoughts are not just appeared and disappeared, but captured and processed with experience and knowledge I had to enlarge my learning baggage.
Moreover, I found blogging useful tool to know others view and reflections; particularly, reading blogs of your group members are useful. Reading members’ view on events gave me another angle of vision. I could read and learn some useful points made by group members, which were not noticed by me.
Although face-to-face discussion cannot be replaced by virtual intercourse, blogs give you huge opportunity to share your thoughts and have feedback. This leads to possibilities to have discussion, where you again make well-considered arguments. During module due to time constraints there were not enough chances to have discussions on different topics and listen to group members attentively. In this circumstance, reading group members’ blog entries help to understand persons.
To conclude, experience with blogging enriched my ways of learning, learning for life. One cannot judge whether new ways of learning is bad or good, unless experienced and then make an appropriate conclusion. In my case, experience revealed positive outcomes that are not limited to module objectives; this experience enlarged me with skills of learning for lifelong objectives.
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Perizat Zholdybekova June 2009
Through the blogs (which I initially was against) I have been able to communicate day-to-day activities that I have suddenly seen in a new light after taking this module, and have been able to express my opinions and feelings on tricky subjects that I didn’t quite understand.
It has also been useful to view and comment on others’ blogs; understanding their viewpoint has been fundamental to the growth and development of my own opinions. Receiving challenges on my pieces was rewarding as it made me really think through what I was saying, and I was able to reciprocate this for other people.
This served to reinforce the lesson of difference of opinion in what makes an effective leader. The answer it seems is that there is no definitive answer. It is not a black art, as I previously thought, but a mixture of intellect, social skills, judgement, opinions, theory, psychology and science. All of these factors have served a module that I have thoroughly enjoyed and felt engaged in, and hope to study further in the future.
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