Friday, October 17, 2008

Comparing Microblogging Tools

Recently students in my online class Using the Internet in L2 Classrooms at the State University of New York at Buffalo completed a mod comparing several microblogging sites.  Each group of 3 students was assigned to compare Twitter, the best known site, with either Plurk, Pownce or Spoink.

 Those who compared Twitter to Plurk, the two most similar sites, differed on their feel about each layout.  Some thought Twitter was more appealing because of its simplicity, but others liked the timeline design of Plurk.  Regarding other features students said:

§         Each allows 140 characters of text which you can post online or by cell phone.

On both you can post links, but Plurk also lets you share images and Youtube videos.

§         The act of replying on each site differs but you can send public or private messages on each site.

Although many of my students are second language teachers, I don't think that many of them noticed that you can "plurk" in other languages.  That would make Plurk a useful useful teaching tool.  I think the reason this feature wasn't noticed is that you have to scroll down to see that option.

 Those who compared Twitter and Pownce usually preferred the many features of Pownce such as:

  • The ability to share videos, mp3 files and events.  One student posted about an event she was going to attend and replies asked how it went.  Another student posted this YouTube video which compares Twitter, Pownce and Jiku.

 Those who used Spoink liked being able to:

  • Podcast from their phones
  • Type 500 characters
  • Post text, video or pictures.

 This was the first time I had students explore microblogging.  None of them had even heard of it before.  We all learned a lot.  However, I definitely will revise the mod to be sure that the students:

§         Try all the features of each site

§         Add the other members of their group and reply to each of their posts

§         Post on various days so that they don't just post 5 consecutive posts!

§         Check out Edmodo which many of them referred to when they searched for articles about microblogging.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Toxic Chemicals Harm Children

I recently read Poisoned Profits: the Toxic Assault on Our Children by the Shabecoffs to learn about the effects of toxic chemicals on all of us and especially the effects on our children. It's quite scary, but a must-read for all new parents.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

If concerned about personal care products that are endocrine disruptors check [www_cosmeticsdatabase_com]

Friday, October 03, 2008

Just visited Ana Maria Cult's flowgram of great web tools for teaching. Well worth viewing!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Saw Menopause the Musical last night. Funny! Getting ready to watch the twins this morning and am looking forward to VP debate tonight.