WRITING MATRIX , A Multi-cultural Blogging, Aggregating and Tagging Sandpit

Writing Matrix
is a collaborative project involving students and teachers from different parts of the world – you can read more about it in WM Home.
Our goal is to collaboratively explore and learn how to effectively use web-based services such as blogs, feed readers and social bookmarking sites, which are becoming essential computer literacy skills for all curious people who like to be up to date with their fields of interest.
We blog using Blogger, learn how to aggregate blogs using Google Reader, search for blogs of interest using Technorati, and share and explore bookmarks using del.icio.us.
WHY?
• Because students should know how to use effectively these tools, which are becoming essential for all curious people who want to be up to date with their fields of interest,
• Because it is fun to explore new technologies in the company of other curious peope from different parts of the world,
• Because it's good to learn new things and meet new friends.

Saša's student blogs
are listed in the sidebar of our classblog at: http://rostilj.blogspot.com and in her Pageflakes at http://www.pageflakes.com/sasas/

Here's Saša's report on **Who we are and what we've done so far**

Here's a short description of the project by Saša for the website of The Slovene Association of LSP Teachers:

in English:
EFL blogging within the Writingmatrix project – engaging students in collaborative writing through social networking;


  • Vance Stevens set out the Writingmatrix project and invited foreign language teachers to join it with their classes. The project brings together students aspiring to different professional degrees from here and there. Participating teachers are mostly members of the international Community of Practice Webheads in Action, a community of educators from across the globe interested in experimenting with the internet technologies.
  • Students post their writings in their blogs (freely choosing their topics) and tag their posts using an agreed anchor tag 'writingmatrix'. Using Technorati they can then simply find the posts of everyone involved in the project. Students read and comment the posts they like, use Google Reader or Bloglines to subscribe to interesting blogs, podcasts, etc. They use del.icio.us to save, share and explore favorites.
  • The Writingmatrix project was presented at
    Webheads in Action Online Convergence 07
    and at K12 Online 07.
  • In March 08 an article was published in TESL-EJ: Stevens, Vance, Nelba Quintana, Rita Zeinstejer, Saša Sirk, Doris Molero & Carla Arena. (2008). Writingmatrix: Connecting Students with Blogs, Tags, and Social Networking. In Stevens, Vance & Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, Co-editors. (2008). Special Feature: Proceedings of the Webheads in Action Online Convergence, 2007. TESL-EJ, Volume 11, Number 4: http://tesl-ej.org/ej44/a7.html</span>
  • The project is open to interested teachers and students, you can read more about it at: http://writingmatrix.wikispaces.com/.


in Slovene:
Branje in pisanje spletnih dnevnikov pri pouku angleškega jezika v okviru mednarodnega projekta Writingmatrix;

  • Projekt Vanca Stevensa v katerem sodelujemo učitelji tujih jezikov in študenti različnih usmeritev od tu in tam. Sodelujoči učitelji smo večinoma člani mednarodne spletne skupnosti Webheads in Action, ki v svojih vrstah združuje učitelje, ki so jim pri srcu spletne tehnologije.
  • Študenti pišejo prispevke v svoje spletne dnevnike (poljubna tema) in jih označijo z označbo 'writingmatrix'. Z uporabo Technoratija najdejo prispevke vseh vključenih v projekt. Preberejo in komentirajo tiste, ki so jim všeč . Uporabijo Google Reader ali Bloglines, da se na zanimive bloge, podcaste itd. naročijo ter del.ico.us za shranjevanje in raziskovanje priljubljenih povezav.
  • Projekt Writingmatrix je bil večkrat predstavljen, med drugim na
    Webheads in Action Online Convergence 07
    in na K12 Online 07.
  • Marca 08 je bil v TESL-EJ objavljen članek na to temo: Stevens, Vance, Nelba Quintana, Rita Zeinstejer, Saša Sirk, Doris Molero & Carla Arena. (2008). Writingmatrix: Connecting Students with Blogs, Tags, and Social Networking. In Stevens, Vance & Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, Co-editors. (2008). Special Feature: Proceedings of the Webheads in Action Online Convergence, 2007. TESL-EJ, Volume 11, Number 4: http://tesl-ej.org/ej44/a7.html
  • Projekt je odprt za vse, ki bi se vanj želeli vključiti, več si lahko preberete na http://writingmatrix.wikispaces.com/ .





Blog - a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order. Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media.(from Wikipedia) more

Feed reader or aggregator: the user subscribes to a feed by supplying to his or her reader a link to the feed; the reader can then check the user's subscribed feeds to see if any of those feeds have new content since the last time it checked, and if so, retrieve that content and present it to the user. Aggregators reduce the time and effort needed to regularly check websites for updates, creating a unique information space or "personal newspaper." more

RSS - a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts.Users of RSS content use programs called feed "readers" or "aggregators" (see above). The initials "RSS" are variously used to refer to the following standards: Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0), Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91, RSS 1.0), RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0) . RSS formats are specified in XML (a generic specification for data formats). RSS delivers its information as an XML file called an "RSS feed," "webfeed," "RSS stream," or "RSS channel". (From Wikipedia) more

Tag (metadata) - a (relevant) keyword or term associated with or assigned to a piece of information (like picture, article, or video clip), thus describing the item and enabling keyword-based classification of information it is applied to. Tags are usually chosen informally and personally by the author/creator or the consumer of the item — i.e. not usually as part of some formally defined classification scheme. (from Wikipedia) more

del.icio.us - (pronounced as "delicious") is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. A non-hierarchical keyword categorization system is used where users can tag each of their bookmarks with a number of freely chosen keywords (cf. folksonomy). A combined view of everyone's bookmarks with a given tag is available; for instance, the URL "http://del.icio.us/tag/wiki" displays all of the most recent links tagged "wiki". Its collective nature makes it possible to view bookmarks added by similar-minded users. (from Wikipedia) more

Technorati - is an Internet search engine for searching blogs, competing with Google, Yahoo and IceRocket. (From Wikipedia) more

WHERE TO START
Week 1

  • Open an account in Bloglines. I suggest you start adding feeds by subscribing to our class blog at http://rostilj.blogspot.com,
  • Open a blog in Blogger, post a short intro and a photo,
  • Tag your posts writingmatrix (plus any other terms that describe your post),
  • Send me an e-mail with the link to your new blog,
  • Think about what kind of things you would like to write about in your blog (e.g. you can use it to record your exploration of the blogosphere, to collect your grandma's recipes, whatever),

Week 2
  • Keep posting to your blog,
  • Check out the links to other students' blogs and drop some nice comments,
  • Subscribe to student and other blogs you like and let us know about the interesting blogs you've discovered (using Technorati, Google, Yahoo, ...),
  • Open a del.icio.us account and start exploring it,

From Week 3 on
  • Keep posting and commenting,
  • Post your reflections concerning this project to your blog.