Blogging's educational value

Anne Taylor-Vaisey sent around the abstract of this article from the January 2005 issue of CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing to her CE Current Awareness Yahoo Group: The potential use of "blogs" in nursing education.

Blogs, like the one you're reading here, are starting to creep into the mainstream--and CME providers who aren't yet aware of the phenomenon should be taking notice. One of the medical blogs I read regularly is good for CME credit already, and there probably are lots of others that I don't yet know about. The article referenced above concludes:

Technological tools that promote critical thinking, synthesis and provision of information, as well as publication on the Internet are not to be ignored. Interactive content creation on the Internet harnesses the powerful nature of the Web and allows one to express his or her journalistic and communication capabilities in a social atmosphere. Written communication is necessary in a multitude of healthcare circles to disseminate information on evidence-based practice and ultimately provide safer client care in an improved healthcare system. The art of blogging can unleash the hidden capabilities of aspiring writers and motivate expression of thoughts, ideas, and interests in real time. Most important, personal publishing via Web logs can be an excellent educational practice because the medium promotes self-direc! ted versus teacher-directed learning, encourages self-reflection as a model of social experience and self-identity, and enriches the process of learning. Perhaps more healthcare educators will seize the opportunity to introduce Web log genres, such as journals, notebooks, filter Web logs, and RSS to students as a self-motivated and community-supported tool for learners of tomorrow.

Blog sites generally are either free or extremely low-cost, take just minutes to set up, are interactive in ways other types of sites aren't, and I believe have huge potential for CME. Anyone out there blogging for CME yet? If so, please let me know--I'd love to know how it's working for you.

They also can be great for team projects, including meeting planning. I recently set up a blog for a group of people in the throes of planning a meeting, and they find it to be a streamlined, effective way to deal with the logistics, content, and other issues involved in getting a meeting from concept to reality. Just a thought.

Update: Another news flash from Anne about an article discussing both blogs and wikis for research groups. I've also set up wikis for groups, and they thought this was the best thing since sliced bread. The only problem with either is getting people to remember to go to the sites regularly.

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