Friday, 21 September 2007

Social learning - the story so far ...

I have been exploring web 2.0 applications for about ten weeks. Still, as far as opportunities go, there is no end in sight. I have signed up to around 20 of the best known social networking and bookmarking sites accessible at my workplace. So I have got the feel of what Facebook, MySpace and YouTube offer without subscribing. It is clear to me that the potential for high impact on teacher and student learning outcomes is very great! All this without the need for a great deal of imagination or high level ICT skills. Time to learn the basics is the key issue.

A brief history of the main stages of my web 2.0, social software for learning journey goes something like this.

Part 1. I heard about at a principal's meeting and when I continued to hear this word, I then noticed the little icon on webpages and knew it was time to sign-up. I have never looked back. This tool is very valuable and can be used in many ways to support learning. The tagging concept these tools use is becoming more and more visible on the web.

I also signed up to and still use on occasions: digg, reddit, blinklist, stumbleupon. In a later episode, I could talk about some of their unique features.

Part 2. Making an igoogle page and exploring the huge number of widgets and apps. available has been a real eye-opener. Google is upgrading its offering on a daily basis. I also set up a pageflakes page and plan to try to maintain this too. First, I need to assess whether I can access the same functions on igoogle and decide if I have the time.

Part 3. Signing up to ning a social network that offers privacy. I have since joined a number of ning groups for educators across the world. My ning page has not progressed as well as I had hoped. It's the time factor and which tool is of most immediate use.

Part 4 Signing up to slideshare. This application is fabulous! I have set up my own group as you can see. There are now around 15 members and I have worked daily to locate over 100 slideshows relevant to my group name. Google Reader has been my main source. I also have a favourites list for other specific learning area slideshows.

Part 5. Creating and maintaining this blog.

Part 6. Creating and maintaining my wiki. My wiki work has been the most labour and learning intensive. It is most definitely not beyond "under construction", but maybe that is the whole intention!

I have dipped into many other interesting poll, quiz and writing tools on the way!

Part 2 next time.

Happy web 2.0 learning!

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