Posts Tagged ‘RSS’

Information Overload……

We are nearly at the end of this unit. I mentioned in the beginning I am anti-technology, however I have enjoyed the unit in the sense that it has provided me with more information on the dangers of the cyber world as well as introducing me to various applications and programs I was not aware of. Although the information we have received has been extensive there are so many other technological ‘things’ out there to learn if needed.

Speaking of providing me with further information…………………..our lesson this week covered information overload and some weeks the information we are being given at Uni is overwhelming to the point of overload.

Having said that I asked myself, does having too much information help or hurt my brain, surely there is a limit to what I can store in my ‘hard drive’ before it has reached its ‘maximum gigabytes’ and says no more, too much information, I have a headache!

If as adults we know too much information sends us crazy what is it doing to our students?

Surely the more we try to cram into a student the more likely they are to reject the information after a certain point resulting in the possibility of having learning problems, behaviour problems, being less productive, giving up and making mistakes.

The following video is a satirical look at information overload.

Then there is the other question, with all the information we have to choose what shall we choose? Again this takes us back to the lecture on critical literacy. We need to be able to filter through all the information to find the right information and this can take some time.

The next question after filtering, how do we know what we have decided on is valid and correct, we are not experts in every field and usually when searching for information it is because we aren’t knowledgeable in that area and that is one of the reasons why we are searching, to become more knowledgable and that is where it is difficult for children. We have seen examples in previous posts on critical literacy and some of the videos are very convincing, especially for children with no knowledge of the real facts.

Just think about that as you watch this next video…………

Folksonomies & RSS

Again the terms keep coming………..information overload!

I had not heard of the term folksonomy and nor has my teenage son. Quite a number of the new terms and applications I have been introduced to in this unit my son hasn’t heard of either which supports my view that we are all digital immigrants.

Having the characteristics of the typical astrological sign of Virgo I prefer my world to be neat, tidy and in order, therefore the folksonomy tool appeals to me as I understand it to be a collection of resources built up by the user, tagged for future reference and kept all in the one place, and categorised to suit the developer. Sounds like I am talking about building……..

It would be a great tool in a digital learning environment, especially in upper primary and high school when students are working around a theme or on a project. The students can find relevant information and tag it for the others in their class, or group, to share and being digital students are able to access it at anytime anywhere they have a digital device, whereas if the information was stored in a folder or file students may not have access when they want, and may need a roster system.

There are some disadvantages though, especially in a collaborative environment, as resources chosen may not be suitable. One student may think something is a great resource, whereas it may have no significance to another. Another drawback could be in the choice of word for the tag indicator as it may have a number of meanings, possibly making the resource redundant. Therefore I believe, a collaborative folksonomy may not have the same level of control and focused structure compared to a folksonomy with one contributor.

I found an article on this subject which you may find interesting. Please click on the following link:

10.1.1.138.8884

I also found a really cute video that could be used to explain the term tagging to young children.

I have talked about organising information relevant to a topic or interest in one place, like your own digital library, however there is yet another term my over full brain has to fit in, called RSS or Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, which is where information comes to you by subscription through a web page and read with an aggregator. Now I am overloaded! I am choosing and storing and having information come to me, now what will I do with it all arrrghhh!

RSS is another tool teachers can use to provide up to date information to their students. A RSS can be used in news feeds, blogs, wikis and podcasts. If the class has a blog they are using to connect with other school communities they can be informed through RSS when blogs have been updated. The same applies with wikis. The teacher can find individual content by combining all the student class feeds into one feed. Assists auditory learners as text can be turned into audio using talkr or odiogo.

With a school blog parents will receive new content as it becomes available, reducing the ‘lost newsletter in the school bag syndrome’. Any photos taken at the school during events can be fed using Flickr allowing the parents to view them online.