"The journey which started with the invention of the punch card for a loom to the development of personal computers and the internet we use today has changed the way we communicate and learn. Technology has been a catalyst driving innovations and the way we do things in our daily lives. Every aspect of our modern life is touched by technology. My life-long quest for learning and fascination with gadgets has fostered a need to learn more about new technologies."

Rosellen Bonney

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Week 5

What is Micro-Blogging?
A Wikipedia definition: Microblogging is a form of blogging. A microblog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically much smaller (usually 160 characters or less), in both actual size and aggregate file size. A microblog entry could consist of nothing but a short sentence fragment, or an image or embedded video. (p. 1)
Richardson (2009) states that, “Nowhere is this continuous conversation becoming more obvious that the explosion of Twitter, a “micro-blogging” tool that has grown by leaps and bounds since its introduction in 2006.”(p. 86)

Why do you think Twitter has become such a fad in politics?
Microblogging has become such a big fad in politics because it is a quick and simple way to keep in touch with our representatives in government allowing for nearly instant updates and connectedness to what is going on in the day to day lives of our elected officials. The network created by Twitter gives the people and politicians a forum like none other. Through this tool sharing instant feedback and a continuous conversation about policy, ideas, law making, and domestic as well as world events is here and now. Digital politics is an embodiment of a new kind of democracy making it possible for everyone to be heard and to participate.

What are social bookmarking services and what is their purpose in education?
Social bookmarking services are public websites like Furl, Simpy, and which were developed as tools for internet users to save, tag with “keywords” and share with users both publicly and in their own network. Social bookmarking is a new way of organizing information and categorizing resources. (Lomas (2005), p. 1) Richardson (2009) goes on to explain that “What these services do that’s social is take all of the entries that are tagged the same way and connect them, and then connect all the people who posted those links in the first place.” (p. 89) Educators and students can then share websites with each other narrowing the parameters for research down to key words used by their specific community of users. Using tags simplifies reference lists and logging into your bookmarking service makes it accessible to you anywhere you can connect.

In what way does “” approach social bookmarking differently?
Richardson (2009) defines the different approach by “” as follows:
“Whereas Diigo is about saving content is all about sharing links in as easy a way as possible. But although it may not have all of the flexibility and power that Diigo has in terms of search and archiving, its simplicity makes it an equally powerful tool for teachers and students.” (p. 96)

With, the tag is all you need to know.

What are the pros/cons of setting up mechanisms that bring information to you such as RSS Feeds/Social Bookmarking, rather than you going to it?

On the positive side, RSS Feeds/Social Bookmarking allows for the filtering of vast amounts of information on the web and gives users the opportunity through tagging to categorize their own perspective on information and to share it with other users they are working with.
On the downside, these same technologies raise concerns about privacy, reliability, inconsistency within the tagging process, and possible bias.

Chapter 9
The title of chapter 9 is “What it all Means”, well, what does it all mean?
This is a big question to ask for sure. What it all means according to Richardson (2009) is that “… the classroom of the Read/Write Web is going to be defined by two unstoppable trend is in the use of these technologies.”(p. 129). First, is the digitization of research libraries such as the Library of Congress causing rapid expansion in content accessible to all internet users. Second is the trend toward use of collaborative tools and shared workspaces. (Richardson (2009), p.129.)

What are some of the big shifts on the Read/Write Web that have taken place over the last few years that worry you?

According to Richardson (2009) there are 10 “Big Shifts” #1. Open Content, #2 Many, Many Teachers, and 24/7 Learning, #3 The Social, Collaborative Construction of Meaningful Knowledge, #4 Teaching is Conversation, Not Lecture, #5 Know “Where” Learning, #6 Readers Are No longer Just Readers, #7 the Web as Notebook (or Portfolio), #8 Writing Is No longer Limited to Text, #9 Mastery Is the Product, Not the Test, and #10 Contribution, Not Completion, as the Ultimate Goal. (p. 131-135)
Some of my worries include the fact that not everyone can participate due to lack of connection and /or appropriate hardware, or training. Privacy issues, acceptance, and reliability of content need to be considered as well. Another concern that I have noticed is that established education systems are mired in traditional pedagogy. Furthermore, I am concerned that there are not enough people who are aware of or ready to change to the requirements needed to participate in the Web 2.0 environment. Just keeping up with the rapid changes in web tools may also be an insurmountable problem for some.
Why is the open content so vital for educators in a world of budget cuts and copyright rules?

The importance of open content cannot be over emphasized. Just think of the cost savings access to the internet provides to schools for resource material alone. If each school were required to have onsite the books, periodicals and resources that educators and students need to participate in the Web 2.0 classroom it would not be feasible. Open content allows for access to everyone who is able to connect.

Will enabling learning to take place 24/7, 365 days of the year benefit all students, or just some students? Explain.

I believe that at this time not all students are able to benefit due to connection and equipment problems, and hope that in the future this will change. The concept of 24/7 Learning makes great sense. The possibilities for learning and teaching opportunities are endless. Anyone who can connect is able to continuously fit learning and teaching into their daily routine no matter where or when they are through the asynchronous nature of the Web 2.0 Classroom. Richardson (2009) illustrates the importance of this shift when he states:
“The Read/Write Web allows us to connect to not just other science, or English or social studies teachers, however. Instead, we can now find biochemists, scholars of Faulkner, and Civil Ware re-enactors to bring into the classroom. Teachers who harness the potential of these tools are tapping into the knowledge of primary sources such as authors and historians and researchers.” (p. 132)

Do you agree that mastery of a concept should be evaluated by a product and/or project, not a test? Explain.

Yes, a test can only determine if you know the answers to the “Test” not whether or not you can apply what you have learned. To show true mastery you must be able to produce a product of what you learn. According to Richardson (2009), “students can display mastery in countless ways that involve the creation of digital content for large audiences. Even more traditional forms of showing mastery through performance or putting together projects can now be easily published to the Web in a variety of ways.” (p. 135)

Lomas (2005), 7 things you should know about…Social Bookmarking, Educause Learning Initiative. Retrieved May, 2010

Microblogging, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization. Retrieved May, 2010 from

Richardson, W. (2009). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press. ISBN: 9781412959728

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