Students' co-construction of knowledge using digital log book is indeed a novel idea with several benefits and some disadvantages. This novel idea is about the combination of a blog and a twitter as an alternative digital format logbook. This should encourage students while on industrial training especially those of technical schools that often use paper format logbook for students’ supervision and training to have additional opportunities to represent their experiences in greater details. It is important to note that students’ supervision during field experiences as it concerns vocational education entails observation of students’ work while they are being exposed to work by more knowledgeable people in the place of deployment. It is imperative therefore for them to have opportunities to represent in wider details their experiences which should include writing, drawing and graphing etc. A blog+twitter combination as we seek to know in greater details should provide additional opportunities for students to make details of the experiences gained by adding audio and video record of their learning experiences. This is hope to offer convincing details of their learning experiences to their supervisors and teachers back in the school and with twitter share it with wider audience (e.g. external assessor) for wider dissemination of knowledge.
The following should provide more details for interested researcher who wants to engage this novel idea.
Constraints of paper logbook
- Insufficient space for description of learning experiences.
- Learning experiences can only be represented in drawing and writing
- Learning experiences cannot easily be shared among students and with others like teachers back in the school
- Paper logbook subject to being torn as it is carried from one supervisors to another during deployment and re-deployment.
- Students could lose logbook if not well kept.
- Making changes to entries could leave logbook rough and untidy.
- Student do not have freedom to make entries of learning experiences in a way he chooses. There is strict pattern for making entries
Constraints of digital logbook
- Students need to have training on the use of blog and twitter and devices for making video and entry.
- Poor Internet connectivity could hinder or delay entries and uploading files may pose serious difficulties
- Extra cost for procuring Internet services.
- Students could fine tune entries and give false impression of skills acquired
- Students could easily be assisted by anyone if entries could earn him higher marks by his assessor.
- Students could upload works not done by him from any sources and claiming it is his work.
- Student’s ability to hand drawing which is a required skill in dental technology training could be limited.
Advantages of digital logbook
- Open resources could be built over a period of time
- Student could make changes as many times as necessary and still present a neat work
- Learning experiences could be presented through multimedia channels.
- Students’ work could be shared to a wider audiences like their teachers back in the school and across departments within the place of deployment
- Failure of student to make entry in a day is easily noticeable and so students’ progress could be monitored
- There is no strict pattern for making entries and the blog space leaves the students the initiative to decide how entries will be made.
- Student can easily collaborate on a work of mutual interest.
- Digital logbook remains in a public domain and could add to the body of knowledge
- Digital logbook remains the intellectual property of the author and can be kept for as long as he wants
- Student gain additional proficiencies in the use of Internet media and technologies
- Ease of supervision of students work by supervisor within industry and external assessor.
- Co-construction of knowledge and resources among students
- Collaboration among students on projects could take place across wider boundaries.
- Information could easily be retrieved.
Advantages of paper logbook
- A definitive pattern for students to easily make entries
- Drawing and writing abilities are enhanced
- Entries not made at due date could still be made without anyone noting it was once omitted
- Entries could be made with ease as this does not depend on Internet connectivity. Logbook is always accessible.
- Entries when altered are noticeable and this could give idea of students’ attempts to presenting his work well and that he actually did make the entries