Blogging as a reflective journaling tool
Keywords:<i>blogging</i>, <i>practice teaching</i>, <i>reflective journal</i>, <i>elearning</i>, <i>social work education</i>, <i>social work</i>
While web-based tools are increasingly being used in social work education, there remains some reluctance among social workers and social work educators to explore the use of the new web 2.0 tools. Set in the context of good practice development, this paper outlines how blogging was used to write reflective journals during a social work placement. The practical obstacles are described, along with solutions and advice about confidentiality. Issues relating to reflective writing are as relevant to blogging as to a paper-based medium and blogging may be a means by which practice teachers can improve their support of students, particularly when working at a distance. Students concluded that blogging their reflective journals saved time, enabled more immediacy in their contact with the practice teacher and helped them to develop more confidence and skill in using web-based technologies. The practice teacher benefited from this development in that it gave her more regular and convenient access to the students’ work and reflections and allowed her to offer support between meetings, particularly in times of difficulty for the students. The success of this project suggests that there is scope for introducing other web 2.0 tools to support practice teaching with students.