Before you say “we/they shouldn’t”:
– why do we encourage students to keep a learning journal/diary?
– why do we encourage students to participate in online forums, or ask questions if they’re having trouble understanding an issue?
– why do we try to get them to reflect on their work in public (which includes the submission of assessment material…?)
If we want students to learn, and if we want students to graduate with experience of, and knowledge of how to, learn in a self-directed way, in an environment where information is abundant, we should be showing them how we learn too… which means developing our course materials, and demonstrating how we sometimes struggle with the best way of expressing an idea, or discovering and making sense of third party resources, in an environment where they (and everybody else) can learn from us… like the commons…
Except, see also: Brian Lamb on Modern scholarship is a race against its own obsolescence
(Did that make sense? Maybe I shouldn’t have published that thought? Maybe it was only worth tweeting? Maybe it’s not worth sharing any of these ideas in case they’re wrong or make me out to be an idiot…? WHO CARES? First rule of blogging: no-one will ever read it. Second rule of blogging: only people who are likely to be interested in the subject of a post will do more than look at the first few words. Third rule of blogging: anyone who does read on will maybe take something from it, contribute back to it, or build on it. Or they won’t… in which case, it was all just a waste of time and incurred some sort of (lost) opportunity cost…)
[See also: Open Course Production]
PS If you’re reading this today(!?;-) then tomorrow there’s an OER event in London that I think is open to all comers? (If it isn’t, and you can do, go anyway;-) Open Educational Resources International Symposium, with opening keynote from Mary Lou Forward and closing keynote from Brian Lamb. There’s also a fringe event tonight where I sure the unmoderated free’n’open talk will happen;-) UKOER10 Fringe.
PPS to complement the above, see D’Arcy Norman’s on private “classblogs” vs. the wild, wide open, which asks: “What right do we, as educators, have to compel students to publish on the open web?”, and goes on: “I have absolutely no problem with faculty and students wanting to have private “classblogs” – if it gets them to a place where they’re able to use the blogging platform in a way that amplifies the effectiveness of their discourse, even (or especially) if the site isn’t public, then it’s absolutely worth doing.” I agree…