Gary Vaynerchuk’s Web 2.0 Keynote in NYC – my 2 minute take on life

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Evaluation of Twitter

In this competitive world where things are changing so fast, technology is making its mark to make life easier. Gone are the days of teaching just from books or doing assignment in groups and not be connected to each other. The integration of technology into teaching has helped one understand the applications and ways of the world.

Twitter is one Web 2.0 tool that I found very interesting and helpful in teaching and learning. Twitter is a fun and interesting website. It is part micro blogging, part social networking and part mobile based tool that allows users to post microblogs called “tweets.” Twitter is owned by Twitter Inc. It is based in San Francisco, California. This website was produced by Jack Dorsey. It was launched in July, 2006 and since then it has gained popularity worldwide with over 200 million users. The latest statistics can be viewed at Twitter Statistics.

To many, its value is seen in keeping connected with groups, educational purposes, connecting with business people and friends. Twitter connects us with the latest information in a manner which is very efficient. An example of Twitter efficiency is seen when twitter helps find a missing child.

I came across Twitter at the beginning of this year, 2009. I was overwhelmed by things that Twitter could offer. This website is similar to Facebook.  It is similar that it also is a social networking site. Twitter can be used to share useful information such as study notes and revision exercises by linking with external websites. For example, the topic lights in Physics. The teacher can link the website of lights so that students could get more information. Another useful feature is that you can share links from YouTube or Vodpod. For example if an experiment was not successful in class then the teacher can provide links to the videos that is showing the experiment done successfully by another person in another country. The screen shot below shows a link to a classroom experiment that is linked from Vodpod.

Twitter is less interactive. It has word limitations. Its allows only 140 characters for tweets. Sending messages also has character limitation. Hence, this restricts the users to express or explain in full in other words the posting of a normal user is minimal. It can be a distraction to the user.

Moreover, if a user is a follower of a lot of people or business on Twitter then the person will find difficulty constantly checking for updates from his following list hence Lists can be created to view specific people’s posting at once. I have created a List for my University friends and lecturer and the List can be made private or public for people to follow. To look for updates from a particular person you will have to search for the person and go through his/her timeline if the person is not listed. Also if one is using twitter through mobile phone and has more friends than it becomes hard to handle that is it can be expensive.

Twitter is very helpful as a teaching tool. If u r following someone for educational purposes then you get exposed to a variety of latest information. Links are shared to explore outside the boundaries of a classroom and of Twitter. Remind students about due dates of assignments, upcoming activities or short notices. The screen shot below shows my lecturer reminding students of the assignments due time.

Conclusion

Teaching using Web 2.0 technology, Twitter to formulate better learning process will lead the teaching and learning to a new level. If you are a following someone for educational purposes then this will be very helpful in getting the latest information in education. As a teacher, it would be easy for me to remind my students the due dates of assignments, upcoming activities or events. Finally it can be said that the use of Twitter will strengthen the student teacher relationship and extend the classroom learning barrier.

Evaluation of Issuu

Is a web 2.0 tool that is available on the internet, for its users. It permits its users to use materials that are uploaded before such as portfolios, books, magazine issues, newspapers, and other print media. Not only users can use material on that site but can also link themselves to other networking sites. It has similar features when compared to Flickr (photo sharing features) and You Tube (video sharing features). The materials uploaded can be viewed and downloaded. Issuu was founded in the year 2006 and was officially launched in December, 2007. This website was ranked one of the fiftieth websites in the year 2009. Some of the users include Routledge, The World Bank and Cambridge University Press. PDF, Word documents and Power Points can also be uploaded in Issuu. It is being managed by Sunstone Capital and has offices in New York and Copenhagen.

FEATURES OF ISSUU

Free and unlimited upload

Allows for materials to be converted into Issuu publication in a few minutes. Does not even need one to be technologically advanced, no downloads or installation is needed to use Issuu. Most importantly it can be opened in any web browser.

Perfect display quality

Has a good display quality where publications are clear. The image can also be It does not go blurry or unclear even when zooming in or printing. The image below shows a lecture being published as a book by one of my lecturer Mr Vilimaka Foliaki.

All document formats supported

Supports and converts all types of documents into Issuu Publications, such as PDF, Word documents, Power Points, Open office, RTF and many more.

Organizes and controls your files

Has a My Library section where documents can be managed very easily. Also has the ability to manage large numbers of folders using the file manager option.

Detailed statistics

Provides a number of statistics such as people who viewed your profile, about bookmarks, ratings and links.

Issuu search

It is a popular site for online publication and hence has a search section for the users to discover content available in its database.

Social networks integration

Content can be made accessible through blogs, Facebook, MySpace, Digg and many more, hence it allows for more people to view your publications.

Import contacts

Has the ability to get contacts from Gmail, Yahoo mail, etc and add it to its address book for easy access.

News feed (RSS)

Uses the news feed (RSS) that informs users about your updates.

Subscription system

When someone subscribes to your publications they will automatically receive email every time you update your profile or upload something new.

Friend recommendations

Publications can be easily provided to friends of friends once they bookmark your publication, hence it allows for a lot of exposure to your publications.

Child-safe

It is very child friendly as all its content is filtered and only appropriate documents get uploaded onto Issuu.

Design and usability

Issuu is very attractive and easy to use for the viewers. Allows for your publications to look interesting with ease of access for exploring your publications.

Full screen mode

Also has a full screen mode where viewers can view your publications in an enlarged version.

Search engine optimization

Allows for content to be made available so that not only Issuu users but also new readers can have access to your publication.

Customization

Can be customized according to your likeness such as custom backgrounds and logos.

Protect your content

Files can be protected by making it available where readers can view it but prevents it from duplication and redistribution.

Feedback

Feedbacks can be obtained by allowing them to comment on the content you provided (your publication).

Bookmarking

Makes it easy for the readers to remember your publications.

Email notifications

You can get notifications via email when someone comments on your content.

ADVANTAGES

With the help of Issuu one can publish their documents right away. You do not have to look for a publishing company to get your work to the world. Obtain detailed statistics about their publications, such as the number of views to your profile, the number of downloads of your publications, etc. Moreover, links can be easily shared via e-mails and social media, contents can be downloaded to be used off-line to save on the internet charges. A person can also subscribe and view other users of Issuu. these publications can also be bookmarked and readers can read, comment and evaluate the publications.

CONCLUSION

Issuu is an online publication site. Where one can publish their work online and readers can view, read and even comment on it.

For instance, to view an already published book, you have to click on the cover. This will allow the book to open in a window on the same page hence enables the reader to flip through the pages, zoom and even email the contents.

Furthermore, Issuu is a very helpful tool for teachers as they can upload notes online for the students to get access to. Publications are presented in such an interesting manner where the students can flip through pages and even zoom, that it attracts their attention and allows them to be interested in what they are studying.

Students can also be given an opportunity to publish their stories, the class newspaper and present their own work through Issuu. This web tool increases the classroom learning barrier.

Evaluation of Flickr

Is an image and video uploading website. Flickr is regarded as the best online photo sharing in the world . It is for uses to share and upload personal photographs; this service is mostly used by bloggers to upload images that they entrench in blog and social media. There are wide ranges of pictures one can upload and share with other people all over the world. It could be educational or to socialize. Flickr is an application of yahoo. You just need a Yahoo identification to sign in and experience and share the images. The user of Flickr also has an advantage to make his pictures copyright, to avoid unrecognized publication of the users photographs. Flickr was developed by Ludicorp, a Vancouver based company and launched in February 2004 and was later in March 2005 acquired by Yahoo. the screen shot below shows how Flickr home page looks like.

FEATURES

Flickr has two types of accounts, these are free account that is: uses are allowed to upload 300 mega bytes of images per month, two videos and can have more than 200 photos on the site. Pro- account, where uses are allowed an unlimited number of images and videos every month and receive unlimited bandwidth and storage.

Organization

Flickr also enables users to organize their photos into groups of photos that fall under the same heading.

Organizer

It allows users to modify tags, descriptions, and set groupings, and to place photos on a world map.

Picnik

Flickr has a partnership with the Picnik online photo-editing application that includes a reduced-feature version of Picnik built into Flickr as a default photo editor.

Access control

Flickr provides both private and public image storage. A user uploading an image can set privacy controls that determine who can view the image. Privacy settings also can be decided by adding photographs from a user’s photo stream to a “group pool“. Flickr also provides a “contact list” which can be used to control image access for a specific set of users in a way similar to that of LiveJournal.

Interaction and compatibility

Flickr’s functionality includes RSS and Atom feeds and an API that enables independent programmers to expand its services. The core functionality of the site relies on standard HTML and HTTP features, allowing for wide compatibility among platforms and browsers.

Videos

Videos can also be uploaded of Flickr, for the students to make more use of Flickr towards educational purposes. An example, is shown below where my lecturer uploaded a micro teaching video for his class.

Advantages

The advantage of using Flickr is that the basic account is free for uses of Flickr. It is a very east to use Web 2.0 tool. The pictures uploaded can be used to socialize or can be of educational purposes. A lots of website support Flickr integration for example, Picnik which allows Flickr photo editing. Flickr also uses creative common licensing that allows the user to make his/her pictures copyright.

Disadvantages

Flickr only allows 300 mega bytes of photos or video data in a month for a free Flickr account. Video are mostly for paying members but short videos as the one shown in the video feature above can be uploaded in the free account. Only 2 videos are allowed for free members for a month.

Conclusion

There are a lot of classroom application for Flickr. It is indeed a very useful teaching tool for teachers. Through the use of pictures one can visualize and write assignments or understand results about an experiment that was not successful in class. Students can use the pictures to write essays. Also teachers can upload quality field trip pictures in digital portfolios. Students can go online and download the pictures needed to write their reports. Another useful application of Flickr is that teachers and students can create different groups to upload photos to encourage collaboration and commenting from other students and teachers. In Flickr one thing that I find very interesting is the Flickr map feature. It helps to explore what is happening all over the world in matter of seconds. Flickr is a very helpful Web 2.0 tool that aids in creating an advanced teaching and learning environment.

Evaluation of Digg

Is known to be a social news website that allows public to vote tales up or down and this is known as digging and burying. Digg assists users to search for blog placements of their interest, web pages of their interest and endorse pages. The website is positioned 140th  from March 2011 by Alexa. The Web 2.0 tool  is a private tool. The founder of digg is Kevin Rose. Digg was founded in United States (California, San Francisco). Digg has been serving users all over the globe. Moreover, digg employees seventy-seven people.

History of digg

The official launch for Digg was done on December 5th 2004. This was done by Kevin Rose, Owen Byrne, Ron Gorodetzky and  Jay Abelson. Dan Ries made the unique design and it was free of advertisements. Digg was modified to meet the demands of the users. Digg introduced Version 2 in July 2005. This new version had features such as contacts catalog, the ability to get to a buried story with not being readdressing to the previous page, a latest border was also designed.

In the year 2006 (26th of June), a new version of Digg was introduced known as version 3 “V3”. It had precise group meant for Technology, Science, World and Business, Videos, Entertainment and Gaming. Digg is linked to other bookmarking sites.

Furthermore, in the year 2010 (25th of August), again a new version of digg was introduced and it was known as “Digg V4”. This new version had some error in its programming and later it was corrected. As of the 1st of September 2010 a new CEO came into action and his name was Matt Williams who replaced Rose. The video below show Matt answering top ten user questions.

Characteristics of Digg

a)      Connections on Facebook

In the year 2009 (May), an innovative characteristic of Digg was introduced where Facebook was combined with Digg. When Facebook users get connected to Digg account then Digg stories can be shared on Facebook.

b)     Digg Dialogg

It permits Digg consumers to present queries to a previously chosen famed person who consents to do an interrogation with a journalist selected by Digg as shown in the video above.

 c)      Digg Bar

In the year 2009 (2nd of April), the website introduced “Digg Bar”. This presents a toolbar on top of a site letting its consumer to create short urls.

d)     Digg API

Another very advance feature of Digg known as “Application Programming Interface” (API) to its users. This permitted software inventors to engrave tools as well as appliance supported on inquiry of Digg’s unrestricted information from 2004.

Digg is a website where registration is free and anyone can become member of it as long as internet is connected. Digg also allows a user to sign in with his/her Facebook or Twitter account.  Apart from its members no one can digg or bury the story.the screen shot below shows the options to sign in to Digg.


Advantages

The advantages to using Digg is that you can get registered for free. User can also use Facebook or Twitter account to log in. Digg enables its users to link to other websites and share stories. They can also bring interesting stories to Digg and share it among its users. Majority of the time if a website turns out to be well-known in Digg then soon it becomes famed in other public media like del.icio.us. After the Digg Bar was introduced, the traffic volume for Digg increased by twenty percent therefore if you bookmark your site on Digg, you have the possibility of publicizing your website to millions of users.

Disadvantages

Like other Web 2.0 tools Digg also has some disadvantages like user needs to be a member to post comment or comment on others posts. The information available on the website is not always true since it is individuals own views about an issue. Also a lot of uncertainties in individual’s database can result in their site being not available for the short-term or else cause create troubles to their server. Moreover, sometimes the site becomes a little slow due to many users accessing the site at the same time or commenting on the same post. The site is managed by a group of core users which determines what site should appear on top or what gets sent to the bottom.

Conclusion

Being the social news website, Digg allows its users to vote tales, create their own posts and encourage pages as well as blog posts of their interest. Not only all these but videos and photos of interest can be placed. Teachers can put on study materials on the site and the students can use the site and get their study materials. Teachers can also give links to informational sites and students can visit that site through this link. Some teaching subjects such as physics can be better understood with the use of videos and diagrams, what teachers can do is that upload videos and pictures to this site and tell students about it. Later when students visit this site then they will get more information about the topic being taught and will understand it well. Students can also provide comments if the content available to them was useful.

Apart from teacher posting things on this site, there is already a lot of educational information on this site. Students can go through all the posting and can comment on it or create their own posting. Students can also share their ideas with other students or the users of Digg.  Students can use this site to clarify their doubts by posting question on which they are not clear or asking others as they what they think is correct or not. Not as for today, but the teachers and students can use information that happened long ago by digging.

By using Digg both the teacher and student relationship will strengthen. We all know that some students are sometimes uncomfortable in class while asking questions, so Digg is the place where they can ask questions and can get instant feedbacks by their teacher or Digg users. This will make teaching and learning process effective. Student’s knowledge will increase and of no doubt the teachers will be clearer in passing on valuable information. Hence it can be said that Digg is the place of questions and answers.

Evaluation of Diigo

Means Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuffs. Is two services in one – it is a research and collaborative research tool on the one hand, and a knowledge-sharing community and social content site on the other.

Diigo was designed by a 12 member team who are experts in software development, marketing and investment management, and share similar interest in information processing. Diigo’s main headquarters is based in the Reno/Tahoe area, Nevada, USA. In 2006, Diigo was listed as one of the top research tool. Diigo is one of the best knowledge sharing and management place for users. The home page of Diigo is shown below.

FEATURES

Diigo is social bookmarking website where people make use of it as a collaborative research tool and as a content knowledge sharing site. Some of the features of Diigo that make it an essential website to surf that i came across are; the user can bookmark his/her search. The user can even take and at the same time save several screen shots. Important  information from other websites can be saved. Information posted by other users from different websites can be viewed. Since information can be shared therefore it can be regarded as a social network.

DIIGO AS A CLASSROOM TOOL

Diigo is a beneficial tool in teaching students  in planning, organizing and developing projects. Teachers can use Diigo for assessment and classroom management. Also teachers can put up information in the website and students can add this information from the site into their books. Students can use the website to do research work for their assignments. Diigo also provides several educational groups that allows active sharing and collaborating that is relevant to the education system. Students can also highlight important notes and join groups to share information if working in similar topic or assignments, thus they will increase their knowledge and skills in the particular area.

ADVANTAGES

Some advantages to Diigo are; users can excess to the social bookmarking site from anywhere in the world. Allows people to engage themselves in their experiences to a much higher extent. It is easy to share findings. Tool used to share research work. Can comment on other peoples findings. Can categorize list of websites. Can create groups for classes or group projects. The major advantage that I think of about Diigo is that it allows collaborative work to take place.

DISADVANTAGES

Some disadvantages to the tool are; need to get an access to internet. Comments made on the findings cannot be viewed if page is printed. Not very widely used when comparing in the Pacific Islands.

As a research tool

Diigo provides a browser add-on that can really improve your research productivity. As you read on the web, instead of just bookmarking, you can highlight portions of web pages that are of particular interest to you. This helps online research more easy to the user.

Learning outside the school

Learning and teaching also takes place outside the school system. Though these types learning are not formal, still these kinds of learning also train us in some kinds of skills. For instance, some of the skills like learning how to swim, fishing, doing domestic work, values and beliefs are part of the community curriculum.

To begin with, the educations of young children are largely in hands of their parents. My mother taught me the kinship ties, correct manners, correct behavior, and some of the cooking skills. I learnt many construction skills as how to build canoes and houses from my father. My parents and the Indian priests also taught me the moral values such as respect, honesty, coöperation and the importance of a relationship. We learn all these so that we keep up our cultural identity. I also get to know about the importance of the teamwork. Through team work people are able to share ideas, bring their different strengths and finally are able to overcome with difficult issues.

In addition to above, my community mainly composed of Indian families. Therefore, every week is religious programs organized by our mandali and is performed at every house. By attending this religious occasion, I learnt to play some of the instruments such as dholak, harmonium, dhantal, and other Indian instruments. In addition, l tried reading our holy script ‘The Ramayana’ and the hymns that go with it. I learnt my mother tongue and how to behave according to the situations.

Moreover, Fiji is a multicultural society. I have learnt a lot of form socializing and interacting with people from other cultural groups. Such interactions enable me to learn more about other culture, their values and beliefs and their ways of doing things. In addition, I got a chance to take part in other cultural group’s festival such as Eid and Easter. I also benefited by learning about the traditional stories that are cooperated in the dance of other cultural groups. As such, I manage to broaden my thinking and knowledge by understanding and respecting other ways of doing things.

Furthermore, my grandparents spend time reciting ancestral ties, folktales and family history to me. Thus, I learnt more about my cultural background and what all my family was expecting from me. My grandparents also taught me how to weed plantations and to do vegetable farming, sugarcane farming, and some other types of farming. Usually my grandparents demonstrated the tasks and I copied whatever they did. In this way, I learnt a lot and their skills benefited me a lot. Eventually l learnt all the different fishing styles in which my village people use to catch fish. My grandparents also do goat and sheep farming, so they usually tech me how to take good care of these animals. I also got to know about the kinds of grasses that are planted for these animals and how to keep these goats and sheep healthy and fresh for sales.

Finally, the world is becoming technologically advance. Thus, I learnt a lot through media. I am able to get the latest news about what all happens around me. Also, I learnt a lot by watching television and movies. Therefore, it can be said that the most of the basic, worthwhile learning we use in life is the result of informal education that is what we learn from home and the society. It is one form of education that we would not manage without.