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843LFEO - How we use the Internet

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  • Pamela McLean
    Jul 1, 2007
      Here at LFEO we are trying to use the Internet effectively to learn from each other, so I want to consider some of the tools we are using, share experiences and ideas, and generally help us to work together effectively.

      ~ Yahoo groups

      We all belong to the learningfromeachother yahoo group, so we know about posting to groups. Sometime perhaps we should have a discussion about how we can do it in ways that are most effective, and most considerate to each other.

      ~ E-meetings

      We already have a separate thread discussing our e-meetings, but I will just mention them here too. I hope gradually more and more of us will become comfortable with meeting together "in real time" - at the chat room with Andrius and at Trainserspod with Asif. My personal preference is for building our numbers up gradually, so that we continue to relate to each other like a group of friends, and we develop ways of doing things at our e-meetings that suit us as a group. As we get confident and comfortable with the 'shape' of our e-meetings so we will invite more 'outsiders'.

      ~ Other ways to communicate and collaborate

      There are also other ways that we use the Internet to communicate and collaborate. There is our Wiki, which has been mentioned in various Minciu Sodas threads recently. Chris Macrae has encouraged us to join facebook, and to use youtube.  An increasing number of my contacts are moving over to googlemail (or gmail) addresses and starting to use various related Google utilities. I have experimented with Moodle (I won't be discussing Moodle in this post - except to mention now that it is Open Source software, and sometime I would like to explore Open Source use within this group if people are interested).

      ~ Wikis

      There are lots of positive things about wikis. It was lovely to see David's recent LFEO post with the Minciu Sodas wiki link that gave lots of additional information about David and his work.  I have also appreciated going to pages for information about Sasha and others. We need to pull together the information that is generated through postings to our groups. The wiki  provides a central e-location where we can find information much more easily than by going though the archives of our posts. Also we sometimes need to share longer, more detailed information than we can send in emails. The MS wiki is a useful way to tackle all these needs, and it has other useful features such as the MyFoodStory database, and a flavour of all the latest things that are happening, or being discussed. Andrius, Sasha and others are collaborating to make this information available for us.

      Andrius - I appreciate how much hard work is going into the wiki and I feel guilty that I am not helping you with this work. I like the vision and aspirations behind wikis and I appreciate wikis for reference. However although I like wikis in theory there is something about the practice of wikis which makes me reluctant to actually work on them, and I may as well confess to that fact - so that you know it is not just a skills barrier that holds me back but an attitude barrier as well.  

      Franz.  You wrote something a while back about wikis, comparing them to building a house - I didn't understand all you said - but I felt that I agreed with you. My reluctance is not specifically about the MS lab wiki - I feel the same about other wikis that people want me to collaborate with - even the one that we did for the first Teachers Talking course. I like what wikis try to do, but I am not personally "comfortable" with the way they do it. This is a personal prejudice. I know that many people do like working with wikis.

      ~ Facebook

      I am still discovering what Facebook offers (I was reluctantly dragged there by Chris Macrae. I didn't want to join any more groups - but he kept offering interesting links that I could only read by logging on to Facebook - so in the end I gave in and logged on).  My first impression is that it is quite simple to use - and it also has hidden depths that will take me some time to discover. It carries a lot of photos, so I think it is probably "bandwidth hungry" and may download too slowly at cyber cafes. I have friends at Facebook who are cyber cafe users - including LFEO members Fred, Samwel, and David - guys - I would be interested to know your impressions.

      ~ Google collaborative tools

      I am finding Google calender and Google docs easy to use. With Google docs you can work on a document alone, or with others. You can email it to others (push it to them) or publish it so it is available for anyone to read.

      So far I have only published two Google documents. One is ICT4Ed Learning-by-Doing                http://docs.google.com/Edit?tab=view&docid=dcnkw5vd_171gc4mwh - which gives background to our LFEO chatroom e-meetings and our Trainserspod e-meetings. The other is one I prepared for the Teachers Talking course in Kenya, but I have published it because some of the background I wrote there about TT may be of interest to others  http://docs.google.com/Edit?tab=view&docid=dcnkw5vd_190d742nb

      It is possible to put active links into Google docs, and I have included links to LFEO and Minciu Sodas in the documents that I have published. Andrius - when I publish anything on Google docs I would be happy for the Minicui Sodas wiki to point to the information.  Would that work?

       ~ Sharing information and Learning From Each Other

      This group is about sharing information and Learning From Each Other. Please share your experiences and thoughts about ways of doing things using the Internet and how we can work and learn together.


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