Student opinions on Social Networking

As a followup from my last post on MySpace, I recommend a visit to Vicki Davis – Edublog Award winner for Best Wiki with her Flat Classroom Project wiki. Vicki leads in Web 2.0 thinking.

On her Westwood School Wiki you will find a comprehensive virtual survey of her 9th and 10th grade classes on MySpace and social networking. If you haven’t got a list of your own for discussions with your students, Vicki’s list provides a great starting point.

Vicki’s Westwood Wikispace was listed as December’s Space of the Month by Wikispaces.

Catch Vicki at Del.ici.ous as brightideasguru, or on her Cool Cat Teacher blog.

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Wiki Wonders!

Oh……I didn’t know there were so many! Next time you think you might like to use a wiki for some kind of collaboration online, you might want to check in at  WikiMatrix first – an interesting wiki comparison tool.

The site allows you to put wikis against each other and get side by side comparisons. Plus, there are forums and articles that will help in the decision making process as well as assistance throughout the early stages of your “wiki-ing”. Very useful.

From Library Stuff.

Wikipedia Adds Citation

Seen on digg: commented on at The Savvy Technologist:

Wikipedia has added a feature called “Cite This Article” to its site. The feature appears as a link in the Toolbox section of each page and provides key bibliographic information as well as citations pre-formatted in all of the major forms. Interestingly, they add the following note at the top of each citation page:

Most educators and professionals do not consider it appropriate to use tertiary sources such as encyclopedias as a sole source for any information — citing an encyclopedia as an important reference in footnotes or bibiliographies may result in censure or a failing grade. Wikipedia articles should be used for background information, as a reference for correct terminology and search terms, and as a starting point for further research.

Here’s an example citation page for the Wikipedia article about basenjis.

Wikipedia is the ‘mumma of all wiki’ and shows clearly what can be done in a good collaborative environment. Wikipedia is a great complimentary resource to other online sources of information and this citation facility will further embedd wiki technology into our thinking.

WikispacesThe K12OS.org reports on the NECC conference, at which there were a host of great speakers. Catch lots of podcasts or audio playback of sessions and interviews. Adam Frey from Wikispaces.com (the mp3 file) talks about free wikis for teachers. He has a very Australian accent!

He says,

Technology for too long has been complicated and too hard to use.

Of course, making things easy is what Web 2.0 is about.

Teachers are finding wiki an easy way to work on web pages together.

Teachers and students  are taking advantage of this technology in their classrooms – and example of using a wiki from a teacher in Georgia – students using a wiki to create a study guide to share with their fellow students. This wiki was created entirely out of class time purely from student motivation to study and use a technology to help them.

Its easy and its fun!

Web 2.0 and teaching

Recent read of Teaching.Hacks through my Bloglines aggregator (how much is there to catch up on!!) has brought an excellent tool to my attention – I am thrilled with the move to Wiki of the Teaching Hacks resource. Check it out right here.
I plan to add this Wiki to my PD toolkit. Useful points to highlight:

  • lots of connections to show the strong relationship between learing and teaching in a Web 2.0 world
  • An explanation of Creative Commons (for those who are new to the concept) and how this applies to schools and copyright issues
  • everything else you need – RSS, Social Bookmarking, messaging
  • innovative tools and how to use them
  • information literacy also rates a good mention

Any comments go directly to the blog which you will find here.

In addition, Quentin of Teaching.Hacks talked about Risk Taking Educators and Web 2.0.

” I am curious if those educators who are willing to post to blogs, collaborate in wikis, and generally participate in the read/write web are more likely to take risks than other educators. I’m thinking that I would see a strong correlation, but you never know.

I thought I would create an informal survey and base it on Gene Calvert’s Risk Attitudes Inventory.”

You might consider taking part in the survey.

Wikia looks like happening

Gil Penchina, previously eBay’s Vice President and GM of International, is now the CEO of new startup Wikia.

Wikia is the for profit sister site of Wikipedia. Where Wikipedia focuses on verifiable facts, Wikia is all about opinions – travel guides, political opinions, whatever.

See? Social networks are everywhere!

Getting Social – Creating an effective adoption strategy

For local blog learners, this post from Ewan McIntosh is worth a look:

If you have a suggestion or success story of implementing social software (blogs, wikis, podcasts) in your area or institution please do share it on the wiki.

Check out the wiki – but better still, add edublogs.com to your regular reading list. If you need information on issues, approaches, ideas, or changing directions and opportunities with social software, and you want to know what the leaders in the field are doing – you can't do better than the Scots on this one!

I've also had some conversations with teacher librarians in recent days about MySpace and Bebo, and what they are saying to their students who are spending time on these social spaces at school. Questions are asked about 'what' students are doing, and with whom they are interacting. One reply was 'I have been to a lot of schools and I like to stay in touch with my friends'.

" In school, though, in a classroom there is far less choice as to whom you connect to, so groups perhaps reflect more diverse types of person. But is it education's job to wade in here and try to help students better decide how they use their social space, what information to share, how to use it to learn?"

Read the rest of Ewan's comment here.