Blogs and RSS Feeds

I located and bookmarked (and should also list in Diigo) many great blogs.  The resources this week were really helpful. I loved the idea of using blogs as a way to be a life long learner and loved the perspective that this is critical to promote learning among our students. YES!

I created a private account at Bloglines based on recommendations. I added most of the public health blogs below as RSS feeds under a tab labeled “public health”.

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Now, I get my own tailored public health “newspaper” daily.

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These blogs could also be used to enhance learning in many ways.

First, students may choose one blog (or more) and use the journal or discussion board to summarize and evaluate the postings, every other week or so. This would allow the students to serve as the reporters and teach one another. We know that students retain 90% when they teach to others (as opposed to only 5-10% from a lecture!) so this would be an effective activity to introduce students to CURRENT public health topics. Here are some of the blogs I bookmarked that I could allow students to choose from for this activity:

In addition, I would like to expand the above activity and encourage students to pursue the web for blogs in their specific public health interest areas. These resources could be shared with others efficiently through a course Wiki.

Here are TT1221 resources:

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Twitter @largowight

I was happy to meet Twitter.

I think Twitter has amazing potential for professional use.  Twitter tailors your “daily briefing” on information you want to learn from sources you want to hear from.  My twitter handle is @largowight and the link is www.twitter.com/largowight  Here is a snipped view of my page today:

There is a concern that Twitter just adds to the daily “to-do” list. For me, Twitter will take items OFF of the to-do list. I believe Twitter will help me save time.   Because I am receiving information from sources I want to hear from, I may rely less on my email ListSERVs, for example. I am a member of professional organizations and associations and a member of those associations’ ListSERVs.  Using twitter as a replacement of email-based ListSERVs could save me a lot of time AND I could get the information I really want from those sources I voluntarily follow. I like that.

Twitter can also introduce networking or collaboration opportunities among professionals with similar interests that otherwise may not know each other. Today, for example, I read a retweet from Dr. Andrew Weil (I follow him) that shared a LA times article summarizing a study that was published in business journal. I do not read LA times and, because I am in public health, I do not often cite or read business journals. However, this study was focused on my area of research – nature contact interventions experienced during the work day and employee health and stress. So, I logged off Twitter and located and read the full study. Then, I emailed the primary author and introduced myself, sent a related article I published last year, and invited the opportunity for future collaboration. He replied to my email and we are in contact.

So, I’m a fan.

Twitter can also be used to to interact with my students. There are many ideas presented in the articles below. In my teaching, I plan to design an activity so that students would create accounts and explore the functions of twitter so they could realize the value of Twitter for professional use. I know we feel that most of our students are on technology savvy and already familiar with Twitter, but an informal poll of my graduate students on Monday (N=11 only) found that only one student reported using Twitter, ever. My graduate students would really benefit from and value the opportunity of this resource.

Here are some TT1221 social networking resources that you may find valuable:

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Diigo

Diigo is a useful tool that bookmarks and enables sharing of resources. It is a cloud service so nothing is stored on a computer.  Diigo accounts are managed with a username/password and a continuum of privacy settings are available. Free accounts are available.

Diigo may be very useful for teaching. Instead of posting announcements or sending emails that with links to resources, just post them right on Diigo. Then, students have one link to manage (your Diigo account link) to find all important class resources. This helps the student tremendously.

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My Diigo account is a work in progress.

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Welcome!

My blog was initiated to summarize ideas and resources explored in TT1102 Tools and Technology course. This course was a required course for the national Master Online Teacher Certificate (Illinois Online Network  http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/courses/students/mot.asp). I have expanded this blog in hopes it can serve as a helpful resource for faculty in higher ed (especially at my home, UNF!) interested in developing online courses.

Please feel free to click on ‘About Erin Largo-Wight’ for more context on this work.

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