Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reading Reflection BWP Ch. 4-5

Prior to enrolling in this class, I knew little to nothing about wikis aside from being warned by other professors about their credibility and authenticity. Didn't the folks at Wiki 'control' each wiki? Why would someone put misinformation on the Internet? Why should I believe everything I read and hear? Absolutely not! That's just one reason we've got a brain to process information and make informed decisions. After taking a good look at all the examples provided in chapter 4, I am optimistic about the future of education and the distribution of information via Wiki, Google docs, and all the other read/write applications. It's not simply about my information, but all of the contributions provided by my students. This allows them to not only share, but to institute new ways of thought via a wiki.

RSS applications are also a huge time-saver. Again, I never made use of this tool before the semester began, but now I'm using them all the time. Thanks for places like Pageflakes and Symbaloo, I can crunch time and scan headlines prior to drilling deeper into each individual website. If my class is working on a specific project, I can set up a convenient source page to limit or expand their research. Sometimes I don't need to be the person who identifies the pool, for the class might want to take responsibility for identifying resources. This creates a sense of ownership, too. The wave of "killer apps" is only just beginning, and over the next few years there will be an explosion of new tools to work with. As much as I'd love to get comfortable with one or two, I know they're all going to continue to evolve in scope and design. Change is inevitable and always something to always expect.

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