Still relevant and worth the discussion today –

As I have been teaching in an online format for post licensure nurses I have been researching and learning about the benefit of journaling and summative student self-reflection as a means for retaining and learning material. Born out of critical theory, self-construction of learning through journaling assists students in creating their own knowledge about information which assists them in not only retention but in application of knowledge to practical life situations. Where do blogs fit into the mix? The internet offers a mechanism for communicating with the world, a place where anyone can read a student’s hard work, even if it is not formally published by an academic journal. The internet also provides students with a voice for writing about what is important to them.

Nursing, a profession that many consider to be very ‘hands on’ has traditional held to strictly classroom and clinical learning methods for its students. Likewise, nursing faculty are frantic about teaching students to pass NCLEX licensure exams and thus provide numerous tests as a major source of evaluation within nursing curriculum. While teaching ‘skills’ such as IV placement and CPR,  teaching test taking ability,  and memorized content have been a large bulk of nursing curriculum… what about forming the essential skills of critical thinking and logical knowledge building? Within these two important areas, where does teaching nurses the art of logic through writing rate? How do nursing students learn to form their own knowledge and evaluate it? With the rapidly changing face of information, technology, and health care is learning critical thinking, logic, and self-evaluation more important than IV placement?

I recently came across a couple of institutions that encourage the use of blogging as a form of journaling, which forces the student to concentrate on grammar, condensing important information, and clear communication (all while offering a vehicle for personal summative evaluation). I found several good blogs on incorporating blog learning into the classroom. Several of them had basis in philosophy and Logical reasoning (all of which are critical to learned writing communication and building a clear argument). I have attached these below for your interest.

Using Blogs to Teach Logic – http://www.blogherald.com/2006/12/21/using-blogs-to-teach/
Use of Blogs in Philosophy – http://www.academiccommons.org/commons/essay/blogs-philosophy
An educator speaks on using and grading blogs – http://www.teachandlearn.ca/blog/2008/02/04/towards-reflective-blogtalk/
WikiEducator, how to use blogger – http://wikieducator.org/How_to_use_Blogger

However, in an instant gratification society (fast food, fast forward through commercials, 140 character personal updates every 10 minutes on twitter) is using a blog to track students journals and provide immediate feedback only adding to the need for immediate gratification? I am wondering, what do you think about the use of blogs as a means of educating nurses?