Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Learning 2.0 Wrap Up

I think the most useful discovery I have made during my Learning 2.0 has been photo sharing using Flickr.com. I am getting married on June 27th, 2009 and since discovering the site I have been using it to share engagement photos and after the 27th to share our wedding photos. In order to accommodate the amount of photos we will have we signed up for Flickr's Pro Account. Unlike the free account offered by Flickr the pro account offers unlimited uploads and storage, allows you to create an unlimited number of sets and collections, provides ad-free browsing and sharing of files, and allows us to share video files in high definition. So by using Flickr we will be able to share our pictures and video easily with our family.

There were a number of surprises along the way that made the Learning 2.0 interesting for me as well as intrinsically motivating. I had little previous experience with most of these applications so nearly every week my awareness was expanded. I have made use of the newsreaders and worked collaboratively using wikis in my Information Technology as well as other classes and have found it extremely useful when scheduling conflicts make meeting group members in person difficult.

The only suggestion I have for future versions of this program is that it keeps its finger on the pulse of communication technology. While these web applications represent new technology and new information management tools now, as time goes by these new applications will give way to newer tools and newer ways of interacting with people and objects on the Internet. As long as this program keeps its topics updated and the tools they showcase relevant then I think the Learning 2.0 program has a great future in educating the average user and information science grad students alike about the newest advances in interactive web based technology.

One final thing I thought worth mentioning that I enjoyed about the program was the actual blogging itself. I find that by experiencing these new things and then committing myself to put down in words my reaction or interpretation has helped solidify them in my memory. Blogging seems like a great way to share your ideas and interests with people (if you can get anyone to read it). However, despite my lack of readership I have found my blogging experience quite enjoyable. There is one last thing I would like to share. This is a short YouTube video which shows some of the artwork of Alex Grey, my favorite living artist.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Predilection for Podcasts

Since February 2005 the estimated total time spent viewing podcasts on Youtube.com equates to approximately 9,300,000 years. I have to pause to wonder how much of that time I have contributed to over the past few years. As is evident by these numbers, creating and viewing podcasts on the internet has become extremely popular, and for good reason. This is yet another way for people to publish their thoughts, words, songs, poetry, music, or (in some cases)their outright stupidity for all the world to see.

But the applications for podcasts doesn't end there. I looked through a number of the podcast directories and found uses for podcasting I had never thought of before like using it as a medium for teaching a foreign language, how to knit a scarf, or how to use new versions of your favorite software. The use of podcast directories greatly expedites the process of finding the type of podcast you are interested in viewing. On Youtube.com you can type in keyword searches, browse what others are currently watching, or view featured podcasts. What I feel Youtube.com lacks is a more organized and systematic way of accessing the type of materials you want. My perception is that sites like Podcast.net, Podcastalley.com, and Yahoo Podcasts do just that, they organize podcasts by themes which make it easier to manipulate your way through in a more focused and less casual way.
Next I attempted to get on the NetLibrary website but kept receiving a message which read "We apologize, but the page you have requested is currently unavailable." at the PLCMC website. However, NetLibrary is not the only place on the web where you can search through and download audiobooks. At www.TheAudioBookStore.com visitors can download any audiobook to their pc, laptop, mp3 player, and so on for approximately seven dollars and fifty cents. Their site has over 50,000 audiobooks to choose from. Similarly, SimplyAudiobooks.com offers over 55,000 audiobooks and offers users options to download, rent, and purchase materials.
Finally, I found a brief synopsis on the components and uses for podcasting that I thought you all might enjoy. There are numerous "In Plain English" podcasts to choose from, each explaining a different piece of technology.