This is a summary of the blogs that individuals have written in week 3. Cleve and Azzam collaborated in wiki after trolling through the individual blogs through Bloglines. Excerpts were copied and pasted instead of summarised.
Using RSS and aggregation to enhance ESL/EFL learning
Can you see the potential this might have for community formation?
The RSS and Aggregator are only tools that provide 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 a 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 write 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 more inclined to share ideas in the blogging community.
Cleve Miller provides ideas that promote interaction in the context of business English teaching. Here are his comments. Here's a five-step sequence for in-company BE teachers wanting to try out RSS and aggregation with their clients:
1. To "seed" the process, have Ss list three critical areas for their professional growth and/or job performance; examples could range from "redesign product packaging for re-launch" to "improve presentation skills. Take a class and help them through the aggregator set-up, and show them how to search for feeds in English that correspond to their list.
2. Have Ss build their feeds by clicking through other blogs sourced/quoted in the "starter" feeds set up originally in step 1.
3. Have Ss in a group (or among several individual classes, or among different groups) subscribe to each other's blogs via a feed exchange, comment on each others' posts, and compare Furled resources.
4. From your side, keep up with Ss work and Ss focus by subscribing to all feeds, commenting on S posts, and checking Furled resources regularly. Maintain a class blog as well as a personal blog and syndicate both to Ss. Use/refer to posts in class activities also.
5. "Stretch goal": contact and link up with schools and/or teachers working for the same company, but in other country branches. Exchange feeds among Ss, nurture carefully with teaching peers abroad, and you've got a lovely international online community based on true communication in the target language and focused on rich, relevant content
Nathan Lowell provides more opportunities for interaction:
- Put a technorati key-word watchlist together and post the link to it to the class for use in their aggregators.
- Cross link all the blogs in the class to a single aggregator stream.
- Build a del.icio.us tag list and feed it into an aggregator.
- Teacher publishes work, assignments, content on RSS to the members of his/her class.
Using Furl with your students. How would you do so?
Azzam Premji says:
A student could furl an interesting website and then e-mail each other the URL. This way, students share the URL websites used for research.
In reply the Azzam's post, Aaron says:
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.
For more ideas ... Read Contentious: 10 Cool Things to Do with Furl