Exploring Embedded EduBlogging
For embedded bloggers, the focus of activity is on building critical thinking and communication skills. Such learners seek social recognition, a sense of community, validation and acceptance within a safe, respectful space.
These learners are most motivated while blogging to share experiences, intuitions, and impressions with others. They are energized while making/maintaining connections and conversations with trusting others. These learners expect a high level of emotional engagement. Embedded bloggers work best within a small, informal group.
The “Sharing Space” is a useful metaphor for describing ideal learning conditions for embedded bloggers.
An edublog ideally provides like-minded persons permission to share openly with others, express oneself; find and develop personal voice. Perspectives, emotions, spiritual, and extra-rational content is explored in depth with others. Learning experiences, frustrations, venting, socializing, and successes are typically shared, often through an exchange of photos, poems, favourite music, or poems, and often showcased as public “learning events” for participants.
The “Learning Feast” is a metaphor based on indigenous pedagogical principles, which emphasize the holistic, spiritual approach to learning and teaching. Often community-based and involving intergenerational exchanges, the learning feast is a celebration of learning, enabling a communal reconnection with extended family and friends and former peers and mentors. Ideally, these edublogs use a variety of embedded multimedia to enhance participants’ experience. The learning feast involves a showcase of talents and story-telling, as well as the sharing of anecdotes and photo slideshows. Part of the planning and coordination of the Learning Feast involves a series of planning meetings to identify and select ideas, assign tasks, manage goals, encourage progress of participants projects, provide mutual aid and support, and support, encourage and celebrate learning.
Embedded edubloggers’ motivations might be described as based on mutuality and reciprocity. In the theory explained by Polanyi, in which rules of reciprocity, redistribution and communal obligations are described, it might be argued that these values are far more the norm for virtual relations than market-driven ones characterized by power differences and market forces.
Polanyi described reciprocity, a concept which has important implications for edublogging communities, as a mutual exchange system:
Reciprocity implies that people produced such goods and services for which they were best suited, and shared them with those around them. This was reciprocated by the others. There was an unspoken agreement that all would produce that which they could do best and mutually share and share alike.
Retrieved June 1, 2009 from http://homepage.newschool.edu/het//profiles/polanyi.htm