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.

School Journey

My school journey started at the age of six in 1996. I spent the first four years of my life at Barotu in Rakiraki. Then for my education my parents moved to Malake Landing in Rakiraki. I went to Naria Bhartiya School where I studied till class eight and made some very close friends with whom I am still in touch. As a child, I was extremely stubborn and a crybaby. I used to bunk classes. At first, I did not like school at all. I used to run away from school. As such, mum used to punish me severely. I was a very naughty kid. My teachers scolded me at school and mum at home because every time I played with a ball, used to break something such as my neighbors glass window. Then they would all troop to my house, complaining to mum.

After all that notorious weeks, I sat for my first term examinations. Mum thought I would fail very badly but fortunately, I passed. Surprising thing was that I scored the total mark and came first. Since then I started liking school and tried harder to achieve good grades. I learnt to interact with teachers and fellow colleagues. One of my greatest achievements in primary school was when I was badged as the class prefect in class four, five, six Deputy Head boy in seven and then Head Boy in class eight. My major success in this seven years were acquiring first, second and third positions from class one to class eight.

My parents were a major element of success of influence that encouraged me to excel. They used to bit me when I faced difficulties in pronouncing some of the alphabets such as ‘n’. The other influences were my peers and teachers. I used to admire my teachers for their way of teachings since they were quite effective. Since, we had lot of bright students in the class, the competitions among the students were intense, and this in fact had a great influence on me. Whenever I came across something that influenced me, I wanted to be that. So it varied from a doctor, teacher, radiographer, to engineer.

Through hard work and dedication, I managed to score 384/500 in my Fiji Eighth Year Examination. Fortunately, I succeeded with my schoolwork as well as extracurricular activities, although my marks were not that good. My parents said to me try harder the next time I do an external exam.

After the primary education, secondary life was so much fun. I joined Rakiraki Public High School. It was also challenging since I had to adapt to totally new environment. In form three, various new subjects were introduced to us. All these subjects included internal assessment therefore, we were overloaded with work. Furthermore, another new feature that we got introduced to was that different subjects had different teachers. To my surprise, there were fifty-six students in my form. Slowly, I started interacting with my new colleagues. I had a huge group of friends with had both girls and boys. One biggest challenge that I faced in Form three was speaking in front of the class during presentations and that all conversation had to be done in English.

Then I moved to form four, which was very crucial year for us. I really worked hard with the help of my teachers, peers and parents I passed my Fiji Junior Examinations with an A grade. My mark was 520/600. This was a very big achievement for me when comparing my class eight mark. After excelling in form four I progressed on to form five where I chose to do science and technology as anything to do with science and technology was like a passion to me. I really enjoyed learning about outer space regarding what was happening at various planets. In science, Chemistry and Physics were my two most favorite subjects as it involved calculations and technical drawing with applied drawings. I was the best science and technology student.

Moving on to form six, I had to really work hard as that year I sat for the Fiji School Leaving Certificate Examination. This exam was regarded as important as form seven exams because it determined most of the students’ future. That year I got engaged with Team Mathematics and Titration Competitions. This year I was also selected as the school prefect so it was another challenge for me. I was bit overloaded with work as in form six, two years work was tested. I really tried to cope up with both my studies and competitions in which I was participating. We also had afternoon trainings. Unfortunately, we lost the Mathematics Competition but luckily got selected for the finals in the Titration Competition. I was a bit nervous as the finals were organized at the University of the South Pacific. My Chemistry’ teacher’s hard work and dedication really paid off as I came second in the Western Division. That day was really lucky for me. One award I got for the Titration Competition. I was really thankful to my Chemistry teacher for all the achievements I got. She became one of my role models at secondary level. I also passed my form six final exams with A grade. My mark was 320/400.

Furthermore, form seven again became another challenging year with lots and lots of new stuff. That year I got the responsibility of the schools’ Head Boy, at first I found Head Boys job very boring but later I started enjoying performing my responsibilities. For instance, I enjoyed taking the students to task if they did not follow the school rules. On top of that our form teacher was training us for tertiary education. She organized mock interviews for us as we had to go for many interviews that year. Form seven students were regarded as the senior students of the school therefore; everyone in the form was expected to be up to date with their work. I received many complains and sometimes was also punished because of my bad hand writing. Many of my subject teachers complained that my hand writing was too small to be read. Sometimes I also got penalized in the exams because of my bad hand writing. My major achievement that year was when I was awarded with the award for the best technology student. I was really shocked but extremely happy as the award is given to the best student of the school. I scored a mark of 290/400 in the final exam and got Public Service Scholarship to study at the University of the South Pacific.

Although, my secondary life was challenging, I managed to successfully complete my studies. It was also a very enjoyable life as we were exposed to many new things. During these five years of study, my subject teachers really influenced me. All the teachers really worked hard and tried their best to make each and every student pass with good grades. They encouraged us to move forward in life so that everyone has a bright and successful future.

In 2009, I joined University of the South Pacific. I got enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Certificate in Education program majoring in Technology and Physics. I started facing a lot of difficulties in Physics because to me things became complicated for example the formulas were no longer the same. I had no option but to get enroll in to this program as I was on scholarship. Though we were trained a lot about the ways of University, still there were lots of things we were not aware of. There were power point presentations, doing researches on internet most of the time, had to make our own notes and we also had to be really fast in writing notes. We were also required to email the softcopy of assignments to the labs lecturers and sometimes hard copy was needed. In University of the South Pacific, many things are done online. Also continuous assessments are done. Sometimes we are required to do our assignments in groups and through this we are able to enhance ones skills and are able to share ideas. Also assignments require individuals to do extra reading and research to attain good marks. As such individuals are able to broaden their knowledge. At first it was really difficult to cope with University life. As time passed we started to cope up with our studies. Here we are able to meet people of multiple races. We are able to learn other ways of doing things. Also we are required to be consistent with our work. Our role models at University are our friends who have already graduated. Also, we get influenced by the lecturers and tutors who are very effective in their teaching. We do our best to take all the difficult challenges at University with our skills and qualities and hoping to complete my course successfully in the next year.