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Monday, October 11, 2004

Blog Hopping Part 2

The five edublogs I followed and made thoughtful comments:

http://radio.weblogs.com/0110772/

http://commons.ucalgary.ca/weblogs/dnorman/

http://www.tenreasonswhy.com/weblog/

http://itc.uncc.edu/dale/su8/

http://www.mcgeesmusings.net/index.html


Topics that interested me:

I guess it’s not really a topic, per se, but something that interested me and stood out was the rampant use of metaphors trying to explain everything. I liked them, but I couldn’t help wonder why there were so many. Perhaps one motivation of blogs, especially edublogs is to try and explain things, and metaphors seems a good way to do it.

Some that stood out to me were…The use of metaphors to explain to others what blogs are like. “They’re like a 3D game.” Says one writer, “One space connects to another and you poke around from place to place looking and finding those little important nuggets along the way.” Another was on learning objects, stating, “I conceive of learning objects as being analogous to molecular compounds. They are composed of atomic units (assets, or elements), and can be used to perform a highly specific role in the compound state (learning object), or broken down into the atomic/elemental state to be used as raw materials for a new compound (learning object).”

Most of the real topics I followed seemed to be centered around open source/open content/open education/open learning issues…and some around learning objects, digital libraries, and metadata.

One topic that I found interesting was a posting by a guy who has been keeping a blog since July of 2000. He says he wants to shut down his blog entirely, but he’s worried about the etiquette of doing so…broken links, track back issues, etc. I found myself pondering this as it relates to educational use of technology. What happens when we go through all this effort to build an instructional system that employs such technology as social software. We are inevitably relying on others four our instructional system to work effectively. How wise is this? If a piece of the system (the proverbial link in the chain) breaks, or does not do their intended task, how does this affect the instruction? Could it be a good thing as well? Maybe having learners go through an instructional system that has broken pieces would force them to confront problems and to find solutions. But this can also be very frustrating, for the user and instructional designer alike.

I liked finding postings that were about people and projects I was familiar with. Like one post about Open Learning Support and the Open Courseware initiative. I got to thinking that blogs are really an extension of conversation, which can serve as a form of education and advertising. How many people may never have heard of OLS had it not been for blogs, or perhaps they might not have heard of it as quickly.

I found myself concerned about making comments on other people’s blogs. I almost felt like what I had to say should have some weight to it otherwise why write it, and more especially why attach my name to it. It almost forces blog users and comment posters to really think about what they write because a piece of their reputation is on the line depending on the type of comments posted. Maybe this is strange, but I felt this way. I feel it’s an important note because if there weren’t this feeling the edublogs would have less meat to them and become quite pointless.



1 comment:

David said...

"He says he wants to shut down his blog entirely, but he’s worried about the etiquette of doing so…broken links, track back issues, etc. I found myself pondering this as it relates to educational use of technology. What happens?" Absolutely fabulous question. Haven't seen anyone else who has raised this point yet. You explore a couple of possibilities in your post. Have you thought about it anymore since?