Blogging and Learning


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Stephen Downes presentation to the
Association of Independent Schools,
North Sydney, Australia,
September 15, 2006

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Blogging and Learning

  1. 1. Blogging and Learning Stephen Downes National Research Council Canada Association of Independent Schools North Sydney, Australia September 15, 2006
  2. 2. We can, as we understand the prehistoric, understand the future by reading the artifacts. Stephen Downes
  3. 3. Overview… <ul><li>What is a Blog </li></ul><ul><li>How is it used in Learning? </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Blog Aggregation and RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of Blogs in Learning </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is a Blog <ul><li>Defined by format, not content </li></ul><ul><li>A series of dated entries, most recent first </li></ul><ul><li>Like a journal, but not necessarily a journal </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some example blogs in learning technology: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ease of use of blogging software </li></ul>
  5. 5. Using Blogs in Learning <ul><li>Replacement for typical course web page </li></ul><ul><li>Link to items related to course </li></ul><ul><li>Organize in-class discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Organize seminars and readings – group blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Student created blogs as part of course work and assignment </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Blogging Systems <ul><li>Hosted </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live Journal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Server </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Movable Type </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress http:// / </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Related Systems <ul><li>Content Management Systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PostNuke </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scoop http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drupal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plone </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Blog Aggregation <ul><li>Blog Aggregation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogdex – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Popdex – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daypop – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog Digger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technorati – </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. RSS Services <ul><li>RSS – stands for Rich Site Summary (or Really Simple Syndication, or is actually called Atom) </li></ul><ul><li>Sample: </li></ul><ul><li>RSS reading… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bloglines </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Network is the Search
  11. 11. Putting It Together <ul><li> – combines content management, blog, wiki, RSS </li></ul><ul><li>The idea is that no one tool does the entire job, but the collection works really well </li></ul>
  12. 12. New Media <ul><li>Photos – Flickr – </li></ul><ul><li>Music – Podcasting - </li></ul><ul><li>Moblogging - </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative Blogging – FURL - </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking – Friendster, Orkut – LinkedIn, more… </li></ul>
  13. 13. Examples in Learning <ul><li>Weblogs at Harvard Law </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Weblogs at UPEI </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Educational Bloggers Network </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>DDN </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BlogMeister </li></ul>
  14. 14. Theory and Practice <ul><li>Social Networks – Duncan J. Watts </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Connectionism, Neural Networks, and self-organizing networks </li></ul><ul><li>Constructivism and student centered learning </li></ul><ul><li>Connectivism </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Connectivism <ul><li>Diversity of opinions. </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting specialized nodes or information sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Non-human appliances. </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity to know more is more critical </li></ul><ul><li>Continual learning through nurturing and maintaining connections </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Learning Networks… </li></ul><ul><li>Web of user-generated content… </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks and communities (entails a genuinely portable (and owned) identity </li></ul><ul><li>Networks of interactions (aggregate, remix, repurpose, feed forward) – syndication </li></ul><ul><li>The personal learning centre </li></ul>
  17. 17. E-Learning 2.0…
  18. 18. Learning Network: Architecture
  19. 19. The Palm Tree and the Horse Learning objects not as collections or aggregations, but as elements in an ecosystem
  20. 20. <ul><li>Learning Networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Educational Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Semantic Social Network </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More Than Personal: The Impact of Weblogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21.