Afeeda – Online RSS Aggregating tools – useful

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Afeeda is a recent addition to the world of RSS. It has a particular feature that could be of use in the eLearning world – namely the ability to generate group feeds.
This might of use when using blogs within a course by adding feeds from all the participants in one place, thus facilitating collaboration/ community.

The site offers the following:

Personal feeds – for aggregating all of your created content, include your blog, flickr feed, del.icio.us bookmarks or any other RSS that you create.

Group feeds for – aggregating content from several sources, probably published by several people. This could be a set of subject matter experts or a combination of official news sources, or any combination of those!

Event feeds are – aggregating content coming from a conference or physical event

I am wondering whether this might be useful as part of a PLE?

Electronic Collaboration – A guide to educators

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I have been doing a lot of reading lately about how educators use electronic resources in schools and universities etc. This large report gives an in depth analysis of, what is for me, the current paradigm in the use electronic tools in online education.

As a guide for educators I feel that it ignores the emerging tools already out there, that people use to network and or socialise electronically (blogs, Facebook type sites etc). I reckon that if electronic educators can design courses that tap into social software that people already use, rather than give them a login to a course held on say WebCT then learners:
1) will be more motivated to access the course
2) in some cases create their own materials that live on outside of the course/ institution – e.g. archived blog entries etc.
3) will be empowered to make use of the many social web applications that facilitate knowledge sharing and networking. These skills will transfer into other situations both educational and outside of education (e.g. the workplace)
4) will organically make connections with people outside of a particular course that aid their construction of knowledge.

I am really interested to develop courses that:
– don’t use proprietary learning environments (e.g. web CT, Moodle etc)
– utilise a range of social web2.0 like applications (blogs, bookmark sites, discussion forums etc) to create personal learning materials and persistent learning ecosystems for the learner.

I’d be really interested to hear from people who are trying this approach to online teaching and learning.