26 March 2009

Blogging for education

Here is something different for our current or former students...

I am working on a very short magazine inset on my use of Places and Spaces as an educational tool. But I would like to include a quote or two from students about how blogs do or don't contribute to their educational experience. What planning or design or environmental blogs do you read other than Places and Spaces? Are you spending a lot of time on them? Do you see the blogs as an integrated part of your learning experience, or an entirely separate optional experience? What have you learned from these blogs that you didn't in class? Is this one interesting just because it is one of the only school-related ones you have?

So, here's the thing. In order for me use the quote, or simply acknowledge your participation, I need your name. But even anonymous comments that help me understand what isn't working may be helpful.

Comment away.

9 comments:

Jonathan Jensen said...

As an incoming transfer student to the EP&D program at Rutgers I utilize the blog at Places and Spaces to access an insiders view into the elements and issues related to my chosen field of study and interest, landscape architecture. The blog enables me to conceptualize what I may be exposed to when I continue my education at Rutgers.

Noah said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Miriam

http://www.craigslistdecoded.info

Chris said...

I love blogs for Public Participation GIS!

Marian Boswall said...

I followed the link from Tom Turner's Garden Visit blog. I read his blog because if you have an interesting lecturer it is often their 'asides' that are most enlightening. Ie what they think about many things other than your masterplan, water feature etc that they may be critiquing. As it is rarely practised these days for lecturers to sit in smokey bars surrounded by absinthe sipping acolytes, the blog is the next best thing! Marian Boswall, MA LA student Greenwich University

Lissa Dieye said...

normally, i would definitely say that blogging does not go with education. not only is this bases on my own personal opinion, but it's something that's been tried in some of the other classes i have and it failed numerous times. this class is probably one of the only examples where blogging is actually appropriate for the class. i learn a lot from these blogs, and although it isn't necessarily going to be on a test, it really does increase my understanding of the course.

Katarzyna Jachimowska said...

I'm surprised to find how useful blogs are, especially for educational purposes. This blog allows me to see what happens in the field of environmental science beyond the classroom and textbook, and experience possible career ideas and opportunities.

Molly Henry said...

I had never read a blog until you introduced popular sites for planners such as Planetizen and cyburbia as your resource of the day. Since then, I have been using these sites to search for internships and jobs. Additionally, there have been some interesting news articles about international projects that have sparked my interest and given me a bigger idea of what is going on out there. However, having said all that, I am still a bit skeptic of blogs as any one can contribute, even me! If anything, your Places and Spaces blog has opened me up to a whole new world of blogging which comes with educational and networking possibilities, along with some needed skepticism.

Angela Johnsen said...

The only planning/design blog beside Places & Spaces that I visit fairly regularly is Planetizen, although I must admit that I follow the site’s Top 10 booklists more closely than the blog portion itself. For that reason, I wouldn’t say that blogs have become an “integrated part” of my learning experience, but serve more as an additional resource. I use them primarily to get a sense of the issues professionals are currently exploring or grappling with (which often doesn’t get much coverage in class), and generally scan the “headlines” until I find a topic that piques my interest. I am more apt to return to a blog such as Places & Spaces, which draws articles from a wide variety of sources that I don’t habitually read (e.g. national newspapers, international journals/conventions), than one that focuses primarily on the author’s person views and daily ramblings…ahem, writings.
The main reason I haven’t made blog-reading a higher priority is lack of time, especially now that I’m in school and have assignment deadlines to deal with. While there are plenty of interesting articles floating around on the web, many of which do have some bearing on what I’m learning in school, I find blogs to usually be too “hit-or-miss” for me to consider them an efficient way to supplement my learning (on a regular basis). For that reason, I have appreciated the fact that Places & Spaces not only includes articles from several related planning/design fields, but also has a quick way for me to sort posts by those categories so I can browse headlines more quickly and successfully.
In addition to the time issue, I generally pass up blog-hopping in favour of reading actual books on planning/design. I find the tactile experience of book-reading infinitely more pleasurable than staring at a computer screen, and have observed that I can concentrate better and think more deeply about what I’m reading when I have a book in my hands. My mind is far too prone to wander and settle into “browse mode” when I read on the internet.

Angela Johnsen, Rutgers University
Fund. of Env. Planning

Mark Inzano said...

Places and Spaces is the only class related blog that I read, and to the best of my knowledge it is the only blog offered by any of my current classes. I feel that the blog is very successful in taking elements we study in class and relating them to "real life" issues. Reading the blog has helped me gain a greater understanding of how the process of Environmental Planning is used both successfully and unsuccessfully, from a local to a global level. I feel that that the Places and Spaces blog gives validity to topics discussed in class and demonstrates the far reaching impact Environmental Planning can have on the world around us.

Mark Inzano
Fund. of Env. Planning