blog.folios : Social Networking to Academic and Professional Engagement
Lambeth, C. Thomas
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Today's eighteen-year-old college freshman belong to a generation known variously as Generation Y, the Millennial Generation, the Computer Generation and the Internet Generation. Not only is this group the first to have grown up with digital technology as an integrated part of their lives, remarkably, most can not remember a time without computers. As such, members of this generation arrive on college campuses with a different way of seeing and experiencing the world, not to mention new ways of communicating and developing social relationships. Design educators have the opportunity to embrace technological advances, thereby, focusing in on the strengths of this generation of students. Using online tools, e.g. blogs, that students are already proficient with to enhance their academic and professional engagement is the focus of this paper. During the fall of 2007, authors Buchanan and Lambeth required fifty-five first year interior architecture students develop a "blog.folio" to document their work during their first semester of study, with the intention that students would continue to maintain the blog throughout their nine semesters in the program, thus creating an ongoing record of their work and the accompanying dialog with instructors, peers and other visitors to their sites. This paper documents the opportunities, challenges and mixed-reviews raised by this experiment.