RSS and Aggregation for Community Building
How could RRS and Aggregator assist community building online?
Being a neophyte to blogging, I'd like to mention an obvious application: encourage interaction by allowing participants to get to know each other. I view the Aggregator as a manager of blogs. This allows the user to quickly read the blogs of other members in the virtual class and permits one to comment. For example, a participant writes in her own blog. Then she reads the blogs of her virtual classmates and provides a positive comment through the aggregator.
The tool, however, only provides the opportunity for interaction. It is the tasks that actually prompt the students to interact. Here are some examples of tasks:
- Write about a passionate hobby or interest
- Write about favorite scene in a recent film
- Post your holiday picture and write a memorable event
- Post a picture of yourself as a child and write about the scariest thing that occurred to you as a child
- Write about the best thing you like about a festival or celebration
- Look outside the window of your room and with about what you see
- Write about a member of a family that has made the most impact on your life
By learning about each other on a personal level, the participants might feel more connected to each other and perhaps may begin forming friendships. In my teaching context in the UAE, students refuse to learn until they feel connected with each other and the teachers.
How would I use Furls?
Mmh .... from the top of my head, I see furls as a way for students to share websites that they have found useful when researching a topic. For instance, a student could furl an interesting website and then e-mail each the URL. In other words, Furl is a convenient tool to save favorites and share them. .........mmh ........Apart from being able to access your favorites from computers other than your own, I'm really at a loss of what to do with this tool.
I think I need to play with this tool a bit more to get a better sense of the possible applications in teaching.