I think eduBuzz.org has helped create not just this, but far more in terms of explicit reflection that wasn't there before. I'm wondering whether reflection is, in fact, a personal, private thing rather than a community issue, since often the community at large may not choose to be 'interested' in what you have to say. Take live blog posts, for example, written for the author more than the audience.
The biggest problem of online communities, and we've seen this, too, in East Lothian and eduBuzz.org, is that novices in particular find it hard to filter information. Angela says that the problem is one students have, but so many of our teachers and managers also have trouble filtering
- what is important,
- what is of interest and might be important,
- what is of interest but might be a waste of time, and
- what is of no interest at all, personal or professional.
Teachers and students are guilty of not knowing how to question the authority of an information source, other than to say blogs must be relatively poor quality and the BBC must be of relatively high quality (both, of course, had had their moments).
And again, not just students but for many teachers, too, it is not cool to have an extensive vocabulary to express oneself. We see a resistance in students to use words to say how they are feeling beyond 'good', 'bad' and fine (and I'd be advocating the use of sites like We feel fine to both educate our students and help counter this claim to some extent), and we also see resistance from some teachers to use a more extensive vocabulary to think about teaching and learning.
Finally, both teachers and students, because we over test, tend to not want to do anything that doesn't fit into the test. We cut and paste without engaging with material, we can take tests but cannot learn.