Why write a blog on teaching and learning?

Good question!

The idea came from a Speed Geeking session where I met The Thesis Whisperer; a colleague who runs a blog to guide, support and inspire PhD students. She told us that about 6 people have read the journal articles she has written, but 1200 have accessed and continued to access her blog!

This was a light bulb moment!

Working in teaching and learning (T&L), my office mate and I bemoan the fact that there is so much material ‘out there’, how can we engage and share it? Likewise, teaching staff often comment, “I didn’t know about…, how do you find out about …?” So, the blogisphere was a way of linking to other T&L practitioners in an easily accessed and safe environment.

Recently, I have been using Youtube video clips as tasters, to spark interest in my students on topics (eg. there is a series explaining constructive alignment ). If this is all they do, they have had a taste, are now aware and that adds to their knowledge palate or it may pique their interest and they may research further. That is the aim of this blog, not to provide “The Answer”, but rather to share ideas, information and frustrations and ultimately to enhance all our teaching practice – the idea is to provide a starting place, a source for ideas and information on teaching and learning in the tertiary education environment – The Teaching Tomtom is to give us the portal to do this.

Another part of this blog is its link to the Twitterverse. The purpose of this is two fold, firstly to engage with 21st century communication in a meaningful way; I don’t want to share what I had for breakfast (porridge), how cute my cats are (very) or where I am having a drink (never you mind); but this can be a way of engaging in concise and focussed communication around T&L. Secondly, I don’t know what you think, but another possible benefit is to see how (or if) we could use Twitter in our teaching. If you join us in Twitter, this is something we could talk about.

As the aim of TTTT is to be a collective space, we ask that if you are inspired or motivated or have a burning T&L issue that you want to share, discuss or just get off your chest, write a post or comment. Comments are easy – just see the link at the top of the page. To post, have a look at the About section as this will tell you how to do it.

So, after talking about what a good idea a T&L blog would be for several months now, the time has come to take the plunge and actually do it.