Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wikis, RSS, The social WEB_Saulo

Response to Chapter 4,5,6…Wikis, RSS, The social WEB
“…A wiki is a web site where anyone can edit anything anytime they want” (p.55) These were not exactly the words I heard but is the idea that was explained to me by a librarian as she stated that wikis were not a credible source to look for “real” information. That explanation stayed in my mind and impacted, I guess, the way I think about wikis. I have used wikis to read about a specific topic, but every time I did, I had to confirm that specific information somewhere else, a book or a web page; “knowing what sources to trust is becoming a much more labor-intensive exercise” (p. 59). This is a challenge I need to overcome as I grow in my professional journey. I would fool myself if I close my eyes to the several opportunities for teaching and learning that wikis offer to education settings. Language skills (over 200 languages), collaboration and negotiation skills, discussions, editorial controls, among other areas, are the powerful features we can incorporate in our practice as educators.

Richardson also talks about RSS, which is a completely new technological area for me. However, I could see the benefit of it right from the beginning of the chapter 5…”There are also a few tools aimed at helping you consume all that information in more efficient and relevant ways” (p. 71, emphasis is mine).  Efficient and relevant were the words that made me want to learn more about RSS. With a very busy schedule, surfing and clicking the web to find the information you need could be frustrating and time consuming. Richardson explains how RSS gives us the possible solutions through the use of feed collectors (aggregators). All you need to do is to find the feed you want to subscribe to and the content with be collected for you; “…in general, you know that everything in your aggregator is something you want to read because you subscribed to it” (p. 72). As a future educator, I need to make use of every resource available to make my practice easier, more productive, relevant, and interesting in order to benefit my students. Once again, I see the potential of RSS in the classrooms (especially developing reading skills), I just need to explore and use it.

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