RSS, Blogs, Wikis… ELGG!

22 Sep 2006 (Fri)

ATTENDED two very interesting online sessions in Dr Terry Anderson’s MDE663 course (Emerging Issues in Distance Education Technologies) over the last two Thursday mornings. Upon reflection now, i’m beginning to think/feel that:

  • The first reactions of many people towards RSS, blogs, wikis, Elgg, Elluminate, Furl, Moodle, etc. seem to be, “Gasp! How overwhelming!”, “Are writings in blogs (or wikis, etc.) academically rigorous?”, “Can one really use these tools to teach a real course? How?”
  • Wow! I’m already quite familiar with almost all the tools that are being explored in this course — thanks to several fortuituous turns of events in my life. In fact, I now use many routinely in my daily knowledge gathering and management activities.
  • However, having conducted several learning experiments among real students over the past two years, it’s still not very clear to me what the model answers are. One thing that does stand out is this: Students who already meet one another face-to-face often have very little motivation to do things online with one another. On the other hand, distance learners who study alone are very likely to be keen to interact socially, cognitively, etc. with one another. Therefore, Dr Anderson’s paper, Distance Learning — Social Softwares Killer Ap?, certainly struck a chord in me.
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