Sunday, May 21, 2006

March-April


As you can see, my initial plan of writing a monthly entry has already gone to the dogs. Unlike most of you, who are already in the final stage of the school year, here (I mean in the bottom part of the planet) we are just beginning, adjusting to new timetables, trying to put papers in order, making room for more paper, going over last year’s class plans and projects to see what we keep and what we do without. And on top of all this, just like you all, we’re keeping up with e-mails, making new friends and new knowledge.
I've personally found these first two months of LwC a time of deep discovery. On the one hand I’ve started to make sense of Yahoo! Groups and all the potential they have for virtual communities of learning. I’ve been in other groups before but had never explored them in depth. LwC makes a full use of all the group facilities and encourages members to get into the action themselves: create a photo album and upload your photo, create and entry for your birthday in the calendar and set up an alarm for everybody else to send their birthday greetings on time, keep links in the Links section, upload files…
On the other hand, the wiki has proved to be an excellent collaboration tool. It’s easy to create new pages, edit them and add them to the sidebar. All of us have been able to leave our signature in one or more pages. It’s nice to see the wiki grow week after week, a big intercultural puzzle made up of big and small pieces, all equally important for the global picture.

Finally, having weekly tasks keeps the group moving all the time. All the members are involved doing what they can, or interests them most, and receiving positive feedback for what they do and no dressing downs for what they don’t. Can we expect more of a learning environment?
Working with images, voice and text mail along these two months has allowed us to experience multimedia in communication technology. I bet quite a few of us have discovered new and rich ways to get across to loved ones as well as students and colleagues.
As an add-on to all our “academic” work, we have been introduced to the world of widgets by hard-working mother-of-six Teri. We are all looking forward to a new round of widgets. We hope Teri is back on the list soon after “getting her kids through their final exams.” In the meanwhile, I've found a new one by Frappr, which is in Beta version and which we could try here: the chat box, which you'll see in the sidebar. Let's see if some of us meet in blogosphere for a chat!
Isabel and Dennis have taken over our social bookmarking. Each of them has chosen a different tool -Blinklist and Del.icio.us –and carefully gone over hundreds of messages to get all the useful links contributed to the list conveniently organized and tagged.
As Dennis himself put it in one of his messages: “'I love about this list is that there are people on it who DO things”.
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Claudia

3 comments:

Mary Hillis said...

Kudos to you, Claudia, for a wonderful blog entry! I loved the way it was written and the use of images.
This past month of Learning with Computers was a great experience for me too. I learned a great deal about my web browser. Even though I have used it every day for years, I was unaware of its many useful features. Thank you to Gladys for introducing me to this new information!
In addition, I've had fun playing around with the wiki and getting to know other members of the group. You can imagine my delight to receive birthday wishes from around the globe. We are all true cyberfriends and we're lucky to share these experiences at LwC. Looking forward to next month!
Mary

Jane said...

Claudia, I love what you've written up in your blog. You and Gladys and the whole LwC community are doing a terrific job at demystifying computers for all of us!

Anonymous said...

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