Knowledge Sharing with Distributed Networking Tools

A presentation for the Networks September 12–14 Mini-online Event - Cool Results: Engaging Clients in E-learning hosted by LearningTimes Australia

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Photos (clockwise from top left) by: Trevor Blak, Trevor Blak, A is for Angie,Hummanna.

Presentation Recordings

Archived Elluminate sessions:

Session One - Monday 12th September
Session Two - Tuesday 13th September
n.b. The second session is the better one - it's longer and covers more.

Alternatively, you can listen to an audio recording in MP3 format (23.4 MB, 112 mins) of the second session and follow along with this wiki.

Networked Learning - A presentation with audio on Slideshare.


Recent feedback from the Network about this presentation:


    Picture by Stevan

    Leigh Blackall and Sean FitzGerald demonstrate some of the online tools that can be used to share knowledge - social software, web feeds, tagging and Creative Commons licensing - and discuss how they are part of the emerging networked learning paradigm. They talk about:

    1. The read write web and personalised media
    2. Social networking software
    3. Web feeds
    4. Tagging
    5. Creative Commons
    6. the Networked Learning Model
    7. Rip Mix and Feed
    8. the future Virtual Learning Environment


    Picture by Stevan

    At the end of the session participants will be able to:

    1. Describe social software tools and understand how they can be used to form networks, communicate and share resources.
    2. Understand how web feeds and tagging can be used to communicate and collaborate, as well as manage, build and deliver resources.
    3. Understand how Creative Commons licensing can be used to encourage the sharing of resources.
    4. Conceptualise how these tools are creating new opportunities for learning, broadly known as networked learning.



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    The internet and world wide web is arguably entering its second phase (Web 2.0). Though much later than the Internet's early adopters perhaps hoped, the read/write web is emerging - a popular media device where everyone and anyone can publish content just as easily as they consume content. Media and communications have been dramatically democratised, challenging most of society's institutions. In education, the read/write web is posing a challenge to traditional educational practices, leading many to think we may be on the verge of an historic paradigm shift in the ways we think about teaching and learning.

    Examples of the Read/Write web


    Picture by dwstucke

    What is Social Software?

    Web-based applications that enable links to be made between people and content based on commonality of purpose, use or interest. Social software has been around for some time but only recently has it emerged as a popular tool for networking, research, teaching and learning.

    Examples of Social Software

    A course in using social software for research - A graduate course in social software

    5. RSS FEEDS

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    What are RSS Feeds?

    RSS feeds are files that are automatically generated by websites that regularly update content such as news sources, blogs and other information sources. Subscribing to RSS feeds with feed-reading applications makes it easy to keep up-to-date with multiple sources of information without having to visit each website individually.

    What is RSS?

    RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) is the technology that enables web feeds. XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is the programming language that RSS feeds are written in. Atom and RDF are other protocols used for creating web feeds.

    Types of Web Feeds

    How Can we Read and Share RSS Feeds?

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    News Readers, Feed Aggregators

    Example - Leigh Blackall's public bloglines account

    Displaying RSS Feeds on a Web Page

    It is possible to display feeds on any web page (including blogs, wikis and Learning Management Systems). This is sometimes called "syndication".

    Examples of Displaying Web Feeds on a Web Page

    • The Networked Learning home page displays a web feed from with websites tagged "networkedlearning"
    • Alan Levine's blog has a flickr badge - a way of displaying the most current photos from a flickr account - in the sidebar

    Tools for Displaying Feeds on a Web Page

    • RSS2Javascript - a tool to help you format a feed's display with the information you want to use on your web site.
    • JavaScript RSS Box Viewer - puts a customisable box for displaying RSS feeds on a web page
    • Mix, filter and republish or syndicate feeds to a website or to a new feed with BlogSieve or FeedDigest.

    Future Trends for RSS Feeds

    Some of the developments that will bring web feeds into the mainstream:

    • The next version of Windows - Vista (previously codenamed "Longhorn") - will integrate web feeds into the operating system, making it easy to subscribe to web feeds and making it possible to pull all sorts of updated information into desktop applications such as calendars.
    • Applications like Google's Sidebar (which comes with a Google Desktop) and Yahoo!'s Konfabulator place small applications on your desktop which provide displays of personalised information including web feeds.

    Uses of RSS Feeds in Education

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    • Students can subscribe to a teacher's website and receive updated content to their personal web spaces (blog, start page, website).
    • Teachers can subscribe to their student's personal web spaces and have student's work arrive centrally.
    • Students can subscribe to each other's feeds enabling them to share resources and perspectives.
    • Teachers and students can subscribe to other experts in the field, broadening their field of reference, building a personalised reading list, and bringing it back to their teaching and learning contexts.
    • Librarians can subscribe to feeds relevant to topics taught by the school faculties, and filter information and offer quality assured resources to teaching staff.
    • Professional development units can subscribe to feeds related to teacher training and filter information and build PD resources for their staff.
    • Students, parents, staff and management can keep up-to-date with school news and events - e.g. Hunterdon Central Regional High School Channels

    A typical day for a teacher integrating aggregation-style technologies into their teaching practice - Morning at RSS-Blog-Furl High School Redux -

    More Info

    6. TAGGING

    Picture by Stevan

    What is Tagging?

    Tagging is a method for collaboratively categorising resources using keywords (a practice known as Folksonomy). Tagging resources can be an effective way to manage and share resources, and can assist in recalling them at a later date.

    Many web services such as social bookmaking tools now provide tagging. With social bookmarking software you can tag a resource, and quickly find other resources tagged with similar tag words, or use tags to find users with similar interests.

    Common social software with tagging capabilities

    • - popular, free and web based tagging and social bookmarking
    • FeedMaker - a free, Web based RSS/ATOM aggregator and bookmarks manager
    • Technorati - A blog search engine that searches blog posts based on tags
    • Flickr - Image publishing and sharing web application that offers tags

    Examples of Tagging

    More Info


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    What is Creative Commons?

    Creative Commons licenses expand the range of creative work available for others to legally build upon and share. Where the default copyright license says "all rights reserved", a Creative Commons license says "some rights reserved" and gives clear indication of what people can do with the licensed content. Thanks to the popularity of the Creative Commons licenses there is a vast quantity of online content feely available for public use without the need to seek permissions or pay fees or royalties.

    This short animation explains the basics behind the Creative Commons licenses.

    The Australian Creative Commons Project has some information specific to the Australian context, including another great animation explaining CC.

    Examples of Creative Commons licensing and other initiatives of free and open content

    Finding Creative Commons Content

    8. RIP, MIX, FEED (knowledge and content sharing)

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    What is Rip, Mix & Feed?

    "Rip, Mix & Feed" refers to the process of using social software and web feeds to gather resources, combine them together to create new customised resources, then sharing those new resources with others.

    Examples of Rip, Mix & Feed

    • ccMixter - one of many, the the best known community music sites featuring remixes where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.
    • Austafe2005 - A collaborative (rip, mix, feed) effort to present at, and document the AusTAFE 2005 conference
    • H20 Playlists - An H2O Playlist is a series of links to books, articles, and other materials that collectively explore an idea or set the stage for a course, discussion, or current event.
    • WebJay - An example of a 'playlist' community website.

    The five most recent posts by five Australian educational webloggers - displayed here combining five web feeds into one using Blogsieve

      More Info


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      What is the Networked Learning Model?

      In the read/write and personalised mediascape, it is social software that enables networks to form. Web feeds enable individuals to communicate and share information within the network. Tagging enables individuals and networks to manage and locate information. Creative Commons clarifies and permits the legal sharing, use and re-use of information and resources.

      Examples of Networked Learning

      More Info


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      What is the Future VLE?

      We are still learning about what the future VLE might be or look like. Given that the Internet and associated technologies are still rapidly evolving, and that our cultures and values are changing along with it (be it not as fast), and that schools and our ideas of teaching and learning have a lot of adjusting to go through, the future of the VLE idea is very much in discussion. Teachers, educational administrators, policy makers and project managers must maintain maximum flexibility, engage in the discussions, and invest wisely and independently.

      Possible Scenarios of the Future VLE

      More Info

      2000 years ago, Latin writer Seneca said...

      "The fates guide those who go willingly; those who do not, they drag."


      Picture by Leigh

      Sean is a freelance researcher, consultant, trainer and presenter with a passion for emerging technologies and their impact upon society. He is currently working on the LearnScope project - Casting the Net - mLearning with MP3 players, audio lessons, audio blogging and podcasting, and the Online Mentoring Network - an E-Learning Networks Project for the AFLF.

      Leigh lives in Katoomba, Australia and teaches at the Blue Mountains Campus of Illawarra TAFE. Leigh maintains the Teach and Learn Online weblog and eGroup which focuses on networked learning issues, free and open source software and courseware, and new teaching and learning paradigms. As a result Leigh is occasionally invited to give presentations and conduct workshops.

      Both Sean and Leigh believe knowledge should be made freely available to all. To this end they use Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) whenever possible and other free and low-cost online tools to make learning accessible and to create Open Content.

      12. Copyright and Licensing Information


      This presentation is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. This means you can use and repurpose this resource as long as you make your adaptation available to others under the same license. For more info on this type of licensing see Creative Commons.