Informaticopia

Friday, February 03, 2006

WWW2.0 applications for elearning

I've been doing some reading and experimenting recently with a range of software applications which could fall under the banner of WWW2.0 applications and thinking about possible educational applications - I would welcome your thoughts.

WWW2.0 is seen as being about applications which allow users to share and contribute in collaborative manners regardless of geographical differences. Obvious examples are things like blogs, but these can be much more than just one person's musings and I'm involved in an ongoing project to use blogging and podcasting technologies to enable people who are unable to attend a conference to become involved in discussion about topics raised (see the HI Blogs portal)

Other collaborative tools with a range of potential include wiki's -which allow multiple authors to work together on documents. Probably the best known example is Wikipedia (my user page is at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Rodw ) but there are various others on diverse topics eg Clinfowiki.

A development from wiki's is the swicki which provides a locally configured search engine (focusing on specific topics) and related Buzz cloud of popular words which learns every time someone caries out a search on it (see Eurekstar Swicki )

Perhaps the most innovative approaches (sometimes called mashups see Guardian article It's all in the mix ) use information sources from various sources and "mash" them together for an application. Most frequently these are based on google map but there are others - for an example you might want to see a map I made on Wayfaring which uses a google maps API and have a go at making one for your own area or using tools such as Frappr (http://www.frappr.com/) for everyone in a group or community (such as academici ) to put flags on a shared map indicating where they come from.

A collection of WWW2.0 applkications with comparisons between them s available at: http://cpitwebtwoinfo.pbwiki.com/

I see this sort of technology being very useful for group projects etc but would be interested in your views.

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