"One way of supporting [flexible learning] could be through the use of coalescing agents, such as RSS Syndication and information folksonomies. RSS Syndication is a publishing method that allows information to be easily distributed on-line. Its main advantage is that unlike traditional publishing methods, RSS Syndication offers the ability for subscribers to integrate content according to their own needs. It also offers an alternative to the traditional producer/consumer relationship of publishing. RSS Syndication allows both producers and consumers to subscribe and syndicate information. In a learning and teaching situation, this ability has the potential to foster informal research networks. Unlike formal group arrangements, networks formed through syndication are able to be formed and dissolved at will. Once a network has lost its relevance, its members are free to form new networks through the simple process of un-subscription and re-subscription. James Farmer at Deakin University has recently discussed the potential of RSS syndication for promoting a semi-latticed interaction model (Farmer 08-06-2005) for Weblog association. Farmer believes that 'the number of potential interrelationships between writer and reader is almost unlimited and drawn from control being centred on the user' (Farmer 08-06-2005). In this way, inter-connected on-line student journals could help to provide shared and autonomous contexts of enquiry within fluid networks of association. Folksonomies also provide a useful technique for promoting the formation of research networks. Folksonomies are complex indexing structures that are able to evolve and change dynamically. Unlike taxonomies, folksonomies are created collectively through the intersection and overlaying of multiple indexes. Folksonomies form through the process of keyword Tagging. Tagging allows users to both organise information and create information aggregates through category assignment. Students organising information in this way are able to make connections between their enquiry and the enquiry of their peers'. They are able to identify varying degrees of relevance to their own enquiry through category groupings and keyword association. In this way a situation called Legitimate Peripheral Participation (LPP) is able to emerge. Students that observe associations between their taxonomies and their peers' are able to contribute to their peers' folksonomies. In so doing they may be able to evolve common research endeavours and research networks. The adaptive ability of these coalescing agents offers significant advantage for learning and teaching situations. Their ability to facilitate dynamic connections can support students forming their own research networks. Their ability to foster LPP can help students evolve informal and loose associations. Through supporting students in their formation and negotiation of research networks, coalescing agents have the potential promote a socio-constructivist approach to learning and teaching".
(Simon Perkins, 2005)
1). Perkins, Simon C. (2005) "Towards a socio-constructivist approach to learning and teaching within OLT environments". In OLT 2005 Conference, September 2005.
"With the use of RSS it is possible not only for blogs to exist in a semi-lattice relationship online but also for users to access their information in a semi-latticed sense where RSS feeds can be rearranged, ordered or, perhaps most notably, received in what the co-creator of RSS, Dave Winer, calls a 'river of news' aggregator [Winer, 2005]. As a result of this ease of management of large amounts of information and complete control over subscription to that, the number of potential interrelationships between writer and reader is almost unlimited and drawn from control being centred on the user."
(James Farmer 2005, Deakin University)
"2004 was described by many commentators in the technology sector as being the 'Year of the Blog'. Adoption of this emergent tool of the internet grew at a rate of 58% in the United States alone (Pew Internet, 2005).
Uses of Blogs is an upcoming published collection of scholarly articles presenting perspectives on current and emerging uses of blogs.Contributing authors:John Quiggin, Trevor Cook, Jill Walker, Alex Halavais, Brian Fitzgerald, Ian Oi, Jane Singer, Axel Bruns, James Farmer, Jeremy Williams, Jean Burgess, Gerard Goggin, Melissa Gregg, Paul Hodkinson, Joanne Jacobs"