Friday, June 08, 2007

On Blogging the Assembly

Yesterday I came across this post in the blog of Bethan Jenkins Assembly Member for South West Wales. While attending the first full session of the Welsh Assembly. Bethan blogged the experience.

There are all sorts of things to think of here.......
Is blogging during an Assembly session allowed?
Should it be allowed?

I can't tell when the posting was actually made, though Bethan prepared the post during the session. Her observations are made as a narrative, recording both the content of the Senedd debate and her immediate reflections.

From time to time we have thought about whether students might find it helpful to blog during lectures or seminars.

Instead of taking notes on paper, those with laptops, PDAs etc would make their notes and immediate reflections directly to a blog. Their peers who might also be live blogging, would have access to every one's notes and could leave comments. The theory behind this is simple, the practice far more complex.

Although it is said that digital natives are masters of multitasking I doubt that students in a large lecture would be able to listen, take blogged notes and comment on their peers blogs simultaneously. Having access to notes after the lecture could well be of use, even more so if the use of comments led to the sharing of extra information.

Alternatively I can see that use of something like Twitter could facilitate discussion during a lecture. The Twitter stream or flow of short observations could be easily displayed in a multimedia lecture theatre and could facilitate the sharing of knowledge.

The comments associated with Bethan's blog reflect observations that might be made by some lecturers in relation to blogging students. Some feel uncomfortable when faced students with laptops in lectures. In my limited observations of lectures very few students seem to use laptops for note taking. Encouraging live blogging of lectures or similar activities may depend upon the availability of laptops.

During practical sessions in the labs our students all have computer and Internet access, should we try live blogging of practical tutorials?

In the Senedd Bethan and her colleagues are all equipped with computers and Internet access, I wonder how connected they are one with another during debate?

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