Blogging & RSS: My Learning about Learning

The Big QuestionDecember isn’t quite finished yet, so I still have time to answer this month’s Learning Circuits Big Question.

What did you learn about learning in 2007?

This has been my first year of blogging. I started because I was developing a course to introduce Web 2.0 technology to K-12 teachers. I figured if I was going to convince people of all the benefits of blogging to these teachers, I should do it myself. I’d been reading several blogs before then, but I’d never commented or done anything to join the conversation. Blogging has been a great learning experience though.

I have always processed ideas by writing about them, and blogging definitely lets me do that. I think I expected that part of the benefit. What I didn’t anticipate was how much I would gain from interacting with the community of bloggers. I really didn’t “get” that part of blogging before participating in the community myself. The conversations through comments and blog posts have been terrific. I’ve had my thinking challenged many times, and that’s a wonderful thing.

The other huge change for my personal learning this year has been RSS. Before RSS, I was reading maybe a half dozen blogs regularly. Now I have dozens of feed subscriptions (probably too many). Much of blogging is reading what others are writing, and I read so much more now through RSS than I could have possibly kept up with on my own. I know I’m actually spending more time reading than I had been, but I’m also much more efficient in the time I spend. It makes a big difference in my own continual professional development and lifelong learning.

Part of why I enjoy working as an instructional designer and developing online learning is that I personally am always learning something new. This year was better than previous years though; I think I really took control of my own learning in ways I hadn’t in the past. Blogging and RSS both let me direct my own learning, and that’s perhaps the most important idea I learned about learning this year.

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6 thoughts on “Blogging & RSS: My Learning about Learning

  1. Angela, I’m glad to hear that this resonated with you. I felt pretty overwhelmed when I started too, and I still feel overwhelmed sometimes. I think it gets easier with time though; you find the “rhythm” for managing everything that works for you.

    Brent, you’re absolutely welcome to quote me. Joining the podcast could be fun too. I’m a total n00b at podcasting, so it would be a new learning experience for me.

    Initially, I think I just kept finding so many great resources that I wanted to absorb the huge wealth of information. That’s a lot of what pushed me to subscribe to more feeds. I’ll have to think about what I’m doing to manage all of this and how to explain it, but that’s a great idea for another post.

    I just checked–I currently have 196 feeds and have read over 8,000 items in the last 30 days. Yipes! I think I actually do need to prune that list a bit. I am going through a lot of content currently, and I keep learning so many great things.

  2. Christy! This is an AWESOME post. And perfect timing.
    I will be developing a presentation on this exact subject and I think you just summed up why the session is important. I may want to quote you and/or have you on the podcast for a quick discussion. You up for it?

    RSS and feedreading is such a critical 21st century skill for success that it MUST be part of some core curriculum. I want your next post to be your tips and tricks for consuming massive quantities of data via RSS.
    What was it that got you from a few feeds to many many feeds?

  3. I really connected with this post. As a new blogger, I my learning curve has never been greater. Blogging has been and overwhelming and exhilaratingly experience. Web2.0 tools have made a huge difference in my efficiency and ability to manage my learning needs. Keep spreading the word!

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