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Nicholas Bowskill :: Blog :: Reflection and Technology

March 30, 2009

In my PhD research, I interviewed a number of people in Higher Education who remarked that students often only reflect before assessment etc. The students see themselves as rarely having the time to reflect. They dont take the time to reflect. They may not have the skills to reflect, the vocabulary to reflect or a process of reflection. When they write for reflection they are not sure how to write and feel its a performance anyway.

In addition, they may not have training or support for reflection. All of which points not to a need for or property of technology but rather the opposite - a need for face to face conversations. Conversations with real people about their concerns and experiences. Conversations where you put aside the computer, the twitter, the blog, the facebook and the mobile phone and sit with someone for a while and just talk to them. I'd even dare to suggest that for most on-campus students and particularly the ones who live in digital connectedness the need is not to move everything into that environment. That does no service at all. Rather it needs support to come away from all that noise and have a conversation.

Now what do we mean by reflection and how is it done? How should students be reflecting and what support or training is there for the processes? I think this is important in the context of discussions about learning. I also think its important to think about what you mean by learning. For example is it the learning of facts, processes, acculturation or what? Again this may have implications for reflective processes and definitions etc.

The main point is that we must not assume that because a technology is exciting or that students are encultured into it that all learning activity should be located within that environment. They have enough of that every day. They don't have many learning conversations. Now that WOULD be new!

Interesting also that when I started typing conversation, discussion and dialogue the tag generator had only dialogue mapping to offer. Interesting!


Overview for Keywords: conversations, dialogue, discussion, reflection, reflective learning, Technology

Blogs with Keywords: conversations, dialogue, discussion, reflection, reflective learning, Technology

Posted by Nicholas Bowskill

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