Monday, April 6, 2009

Workshop 4: Reviewing RSS and multi media, then looking at free software

You know, I get this funny feeling that we've forgotten that one thing I said to remember.. the Google Reader. Last week I asked a few people if they were checking their Google Reader and the responses where on the whole questioning what the RSS reader is for. So I think we need to review some of week 1.

As Sarah Stewart said once, blogging has more to do with reading then it does writing.. or something like that.. and I couldn't agree more. Beverly echoes the sentiment in her blog post recently. I spend most of my blogging time keeping on top of the 200 or so feeds I am subscribed to. (It sure beats the Sunday papers!) And from time to time, the reading, looking, viewing and listening I do when I go through my reader is the stuff that triggers me to want to write a blog post about something. It might be a comment about something, a shout out to a great idea, or a more academic deconstruction of some publication, what ever it is, it is usually always inspired by reading.

When I do post about what others have done, those others notice that and sometimes they respond. This is the networking bit, and when done well is what leads to what many call networked learning. When we manage to build a professional relationship with others through this sort of expressing and ourselves and connecting with others, that's when all this blogging stuff starts to make sense. That's when we start to get a deeper understanding of the value of social media to personalised learning and collaborative productivity. But it takes time and investment, 2 things we teachers are poor on.

So I think we should review RSS. Have a look who and what we are subscribed to, leave comments on those blogs, and maybe even write about what we have read on our own blogs. Depending on who and how you do it, this practice can lead to great things.

Then for some enriching fun, we should have another look at adding multi media to our blogs. Its easy, you know that, but it goes beyond embedding youtube movies that's for sure. We can do audio, maps, readings, charts, pretty much anything these days can be embedded in a blog. Its fun and makes us look like media experts.

Finally, if we have time, lets take a look at free and open source software - if only to become aware of what it is, how it works and how it relates to social media. In fact, I would go as far to say that free and open source software is the grand daddy movement that brought us the social media we have today.

Hope to see you tonight :)