I have thought during the past days on how to use Blogs and Aggregators for Learning and Knowledge sharing. Here are some of my findings:
Well, one thing is quite obvious: Blogs can be used as a platform where one person, normally the "lecturer" posts information that others then can read and therefore learn. The same holds in case of Project Management or corporate knowledge sharing. But this is just one side of the medal. The blog offers not only the possibility to read what is written, like all other web pages do, it offers also the possibility to comment posts, to start a discussion, to be active in learning. Together with using an aggregator this results in a fast and convenient knowledge exchange as people do just enter their comment and each interested party, like the classmates or project team members receive information about changes or comments made.
To be a little more precise here some examples:
A blog could be used as platform for case studies and discussions for example: the "lecturer" may set the case on a blog with elaboration or solution etc. and all participants may go to the blog, read the case and give their comments, critics or recommendations. This enhances the quality very much because different opinions can be read and everybody can take out his/her personal conclusion. If interested people can also set an aggregator on the blog to receive further comments and proposals immediately for example per email. This further enhances velocity of discussion and makes it even more interesting for participants.
Blogs can also be used as an online library, where information is stored. The advantage of using blogs here is, that they qre quite easy to use and no training has to be done to enable lecturers to load up information on their own. The structure of blogs further enhances the library's quality as external links may lead to further readings and information.
Finally let's have a look on the other side: the learners, the students: Why not let them set up a own blog where they write down what they learned, how they feel about the course, what they further expect etc? The first advantage of this way of instruction is that participants have to think about topics and write them down. This enhances learning a lot, it's no more just listening but becomes thinking, reviewing what has been heard. As the post is "published" participant may really think about what they write down as it may be embarassing if other's read stupid things. The second advantage is that other students can also benefit from their class mates blogs: they go on learning by reading one another's posts and set comments.