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Monday, March 27, 2006

I digg it: Web 2.0 resources and educational papers



Web 2.0 Educational paper
I have found an excellent article by an educator and Web 2.0 researcher. If you'd like the history and underpinnings of the Web 2.0 as it relates to education (and you have about 10 minutes), Bryan Alexander has written a very nice paper for Educause.

How did I find his paper?
After reading some of the new "Web 2.0" hotlists:
I saw a common trend in that Digg was named on each list. So, I stopped fighting the urge to pick up another service and joined digg.

How do you get started on digg?

1 - Go to Digg and click Join.
2 - They will send you an e-mail after you register and you must confirm.
3 - After you confirm, go to digg and log in. Now you're ready

Features of Digg:
A - You can use the search box. I did a search on teaching and found my articles mentioned here. (You can do this without registering.)
B - When you find something you like, click "dig it" and the little box turns to Dug.
C - At any time you can go to your profile at the top of the page and get a list of the articles "you've dug." You can see mine at http://www.digg.com/users/coolcatteacher
You can also see the stories that you have submitted and the stories that you've commented on.
D - Perhaps the neatest feature is the ability to see articles with lots of "digs" by going to the homepage.
E - Finally, you can add "friends" and this is where I hope you'll come in. I wish there was a way to know the digg profiles of those I read and respect. I'd like to know what they are "digging" at the moment.
F- Digg will interface with your blog and you can blog articles directly from Digg. For those who do a lot of blogging, this would be very useful. (Particularly for those who scavenge the Internet for reading material to pass along to others!)
G - Submit articles that are meaningful! We need more articles with meaning representing education and less that "dig" at the negative aspects of teaching!

My evaluation of digg

I think digg is emerging. I do feel somewhat overwhelmed with all of the social choices and enjoy my del.icio.us account. I think digg is a little more than deli.cio.us in that you can see emerging trends and tag clouds. I like the user interface.

I liked the articles that I found as they are related to technology and that is what I live and breathe. I think my priority in reading will become: #1 Bloglines, #2 Digg, #3 Technorati, and #4 Del.icio.us.

If you love finding new reading material, it is worth a try. I'd like to know your digg username so that we can create some educators sharing information over digg, so feel free to post it below.

Some other cool stuff I "dug" up today:

When did forward thinking become a thing of the past?
A great article that is older but still relevant about the lag in effective use of the Internet in teaching second languages. (I just burned 10 CD's for the spanish department last week!)

ILM and Pixar create a cutting edge school for animators

Using completely online classes, Industrial Light and Magic (Star Wars) and Pixar have created an online school at animationmentor.com. I was stunned by this paragraph of the article!

The site offers online classes, buddy lists, instant messaging, training videos and journals. Web cameras are used to create video messages. But the most impressive tools are used by mentors to create video critiques for students to view at their leisure. Another is a proprietary tool built by AnimationMentor.com's software developers that allows mentors to draw on top of the student's drawings, frame-by-frame to critique the work.
Perhaps the greatest contributions of ILM and Pixar (Disney) will not be entertainment but edutainment that becomes relevant to the classroom. I want the proprietary editing tool for web pages!

Random Pick:

Threadless.com -- If you're looking for cool T-shirts or you like to design them, you can design T-shirts or vote on the ones you like and order them. The designs with the most votes get printed! This is really cool!

What if we could do this with textbooks? We vote on the items we think are vital for the textbooks and the items that are most voted upon are included! Collaborative Textbooks? Hmmm.

In Conclusion
There are many great resources but don't be overwhelmed. Read your bloglines somewhat consistently. If you need to find information on a topic, go to digg and technorati for pointers. Use delicious to mark things. But don't spend time using all of the "top 100" Web 2.0 web pages. You'll never get anything done!
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