Blog as a reflection and learning resource

John Gardner blogs in Washington: a [Clean] Tech Capital? about his reflections on a question: “Can Washington take a lead role in solving [green tech] issues…” and he offers some evidence about important resources needed to answer his question in the affirmative: “political will, experience, community ethic, talent” but he seems to conclude the situation is great but not enough.

Here is where I think he starts to switch to reflection-in-action, assaying some next steps: “literacy in the issues, inventory our assets, identify strengths, develop our ethic.” He ends, “I am convinced Washington will play a major role in this all too important part of our future lives. I just don’t know yet exactly what it will be.”

What I think is missing is he doesn’t ask his readers to help in his learning nor do I see what next move he sees for the university. Literacy might be a place where WSU plays a role, as might be developing the ethic, and we might contribute to developing the experience & talent of the next generation. Its clear he is thinking about these problems, but it isn’t clear that these musings are asking for help to developing his thinking. Do you think I got the analysis right?

I’m motivated to this analysis because we have been working on a similar deconstruction of the blog of George Hotz, the hacker who first unlocked the iPhone. In Hotz’ blog we are seeing a portfolio of his learning, and we see him telling us what he knows, what he conjectures, what help he needs, and what he thinks his next move(s) will be, including at times doing an assessment of risk, payoff, and resources. This is interesting both because it illustrates the sophistication of a 17 year-old problem solver, and because he illustrates how he gathered additional resources (via his blog and elsewhere) to help with his problem. More insight into our analysis of Hotz, or other examples of learning during adaptive problem solving are welcome.

I am doing these reflections in preparation for working on my portfolio. I’ve started with some exploration of my thinking here and I’m trying to get more explicit about doing (and how I’m doing) reflection, for example here. I think my next move needs to be to look across the collections of my work and do some selection/ reflection to bring out themes and evidence of my leadership and learning.

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