I learnt three principles of mindfulness the other day which apply very well to the development of learners in the use of Web 2.0 in teaching, learning, creating and connecting with a network.
Using the skills of mindfulness it is a good idea first to stand back and observe what you see. So if learnere are internet surfers or lurkers on mailing lists they are already half way there. There is no shane in lurking andlearning on the way to the goal of contribuiting and learning. Observing the blogosphere is like standing in the corner at a party working out who you want to talk to and whol looks interesting.
The second step of mindfulness is to describe what you see. This would make a good first blog post. Show learners how to link to the other sites they mention in their posts. Other bloggers reffered to could well track back these links and create an instant readership. Encourage learners to leave a comment on their blog to say they have mentioned them and get the learner to leave their URL. Hopefully then the other bloggers will check back to see what has been said about them! There is also the option for them to tick the box that says 'ping technorati' when they first set up their blog, this will allow search engines to find their blog.
Participating is the third and final step. Nervousness and shyness make it hard to participate, thats why the first two steps hve been important, to make learners comfortable and ready to join in!
In the first blog post learnsers simply described wht they saw. They would have identified individuals, their blogs, particular ideas and themes arounhd particular topics. To participate learners need to throw themselves into the blogging activity. They need to lose consciousness of themselves in the activity, and just be present to participating. In fully participating they will do more than just describe, they will be able to express how they feel about what other bloggers have to say. They can challenge other peoples ideas, reflect on them, or they may want to draw disparate ideas together to create new ideas, much like this post draws mindfulness and blogging together!
In participating we become present to our own ideas and feelings - and then we learn.
Start with my bloglines account for a list of blogs that I subscribe to, I copied it from someone else when I first started blogging. Post a comment that takes me to your blog for new links that I can follow!