Jul 7, 2010

A real 2.0 gem!

Is this not the coolest wordle? I thought imagechef was great, until I came across this 2.0 tool last weekend. It is called tagxedo and being a 2.0 tool, it is incredibly easy to use. What I love about it, is that you can upload an image and add the words from any webpage simply by adding the URL (uniform resource locator, or website address). Why did I choose this particular image of Ghandi and a website about Ghandi for this post?

I am learning about Ghandi in a summer institute and have learned that Ghandi went to school to become a lawyer and went to South Africa to work and while he was there, he faced “blatant racism and discrimination” and began to advocate for civil rights and even became a leader of a political movement against racial discrimination (Burke, 2000). He did not believe in modernization, perhaps because society values “horse power” rather than “man power” (Dharmadhikari, 2003). Independence, autonomy, self sufficiency and self-reliance were characteristics of a society that Ghandi strived for and believed that an education reflects a society’s fundamental assumptions about itself and the individuals which compose it (Burke, 2000). Here, the education of powerful learning experiences is essential, since current experiences will shape future experiences. Dewey stated that the quality of the educational experience has an immediate effect and long term effect since they “promote having desirable future experiences” (Dewey, 1938). (Dewey, 1938).

Bringing this back to my present experiences and inquiring how online communities can impact education and learning, I began to think deeply about communities and the ones that I belong to. Therefore, in understanding our own individual stories, reflecting on them and sharing them, I believe, we can create a world of peace. Can peace be created through online communities?

Communities develop as people develop relationships and have a common vision and purpose (Vanier, 1998). My story of becoming part of communities online started with discussion forums where I would discuss books I was reading. From there I discovered messenger and IRC (internet relay chat) where I would join chat rooms to discuss books in real time. That fascinated me. Then I explored more social networks including the world renowned Facebook. I expanded my social networks and became a part of a community of learners on Twitter, Delicious, Diigo, all spaces where I get to explore, collaborate and discuss. The people that I connect with online, are all part of my personal learning network.

And back to my tagxedo of Ghandi. How did I learn about tagxedo? I found it through Diigo, which is one of my online personal learning networks. The ISTE conference was on the weekend and I was wishing that I was there. So I popped onto to twitter to see what people were saying about the conference. From the sounds of it, the coolest part of this conference is when people share some tools that they use in the classroom. I have to thank my PLN for posting the many tools and for sharing the wiki from the conference through the social bookmarking site, diigo. Here is ISTE 2010 unplugged, where you can "attend," even though it was last weekend!

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