Friday, February 04, 2005

RSS and Aggregation for Community Building

This posting is part of the collective task for group 2, in the week 3 collective task.

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.


Blogger Sarolta said...

Dear Azzam,
I just like reading your posts - you're full of good ideas. Thank you for sharing them with us. Kind regards.

February 4, 2005 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Cleve said...

Hi Azzam! We're in group 2 together (just us evidently?). I just started my tasks - Friday at 9:30.

Your ideas looks great. I'll probably have mine done tomorrow, then we can put them together for the community blog (that's what I understand we're to do...right?). Maybe we can put up a new page in the wiki to collaborate on making the summary, before posting it on the community blog. What do you think?

February 4, 2005 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger aaron said...

Wonderful ideas Azzam! You know, in addition to emailing a URL from Furl, you can subscribe via RSS to a person's Furl archive. In this way, you could aggregate student Furl feeds to a single page, or prepare an OPML file with student Furl archives to seed student aggregators so they can follow what other students are reading. Furl is Fun.

February 5, 2005 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Janina said...

Oh Azzam, you really seem to have got your head around all this stuff. I'm green with envy and red with shame as I have been left behind a little. What with URLing a furl and RSSing an OPML, I think you could start writing books under the pseudonym Seuss! I put a link from my blog to yours instead of doing any work in week 3 as I just about bombed out the whole week (I was sick, honest!). Hope you don't mind!

February 8, 2005 at 2:17 AM  

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