What is a learning log?

I was asked yesterday what exactly I mean by a ‘learning log’.

I suppose it can be captured in a relatively simple tri-colon: “Where you’ve been; where you are; and where you’re going”

I’m not talking here of travel in any sort of geographical sense, but more about the journey which relates to our opinions, ideas and perceptions.

A Learning Log imposes a discipline upon the reflective process, which, although it may be going on informally, or tacitally, all of the time, can often be lost in the ‘jungle’ which forms much of our daily, weekly and monthly work.

The learning log just gives you that brief – and, for me, ever more valuable, opportunity to step outside and look back upon my practice and direction of travel.

The reflective power of the on-line Learning Log is magnified when the contribution of others’ comments is taken into consideration – there so many examples I could point to in this Learning Log where my thinking has been significantly influenced by other’s opinions.

The Learning Log therefore provides an invaluable strategic map in that it enables you to retrace your steps and see where you’ve come from, identify where you are at any one point in time and, hopefully, enable you to explore the future in a relatively safe environment.

The other, incredibly useful role for the learning log is that it enables you to see connections between various things that you are doing that might not be apparent if they were contained within their normal silos.  For me it’s this connecting function that helps me to make sense of some the very disparate things that I do in my day-to-day work.

If this seems focussed upon the benefits to the Learning Logger then that has been deliberate – the benefits of a Learning Log to other people is very much dependent upon the reader’s perception – although one would hope that it might be of some interest.