Loic Le Muir (2005) discusses the willingness and openness of blog writers to communicate regularly on current issues for the purpose of collaboration and debate. RSS feeds are a way of notifying interested parties of new articles however Ingram (2011) suggests social networking is now the favoured medium, but this is really down to personal preferences. As an OU Tutor I find that links and embeds (known as ‘web 2.0’) make adding content such as YouTube tutorials, SoundCloud etc. to your tutor group forum easy to do and they are instantly accessible for students rather than them having to follow the link to its original source. Twitter and Facebook provide live updates for instant information on e.g. webinars so these can be discussed synchronously and questions asked of the speaker. For example MOOCs have been discussed in Twitter using specific hashtags. I use Twitter as an invaluable research aid. Unlike Facebook with Twitter you do not have to ‘friend’ someone but can follow and unfollow people you are interested in and contact them directly to ask questions (as I did this morning with Martin Weller). As for VLE’s it’s been interesting watching the OU’s Moodle transform as it adapts and progresses technologically over the years. An additional technology that is important for open education is website builders e.g. Google Sites so people with limited technological knowledge can set up their own site such as for hobbies and interests - I set up my Family Tree in 2004. This is a way to link to others and build understanding on specific topics of educational interest. Although these are often closed sites to protect identity they become open once contact has been made and an invitation is sent to connect. Genealogy is a popular interest and is of personal and social history educational value. Sites such as Tribal Pages and Ancestry.com provide free website builders that identify linked surnames so those with family trees on their site can choose to link up.
Ingram, M. (2011) ‘Sure, RSS is dead – just like the web is dead’, GigaOM, 4 January [online]. Available at http://gigaom.com/ 2011/ 01/ 04/ sure-rss-is-dead-just-like-the-web-is-dead/ (last accessed 22 April 2014).
Le Meur, L. (2005) ‘Is there a “blog culture”?’, Loic Le Meur, 5 May [online]. Available at http://loiclemeur.com/ english/ 2005/ 05/ is_there_a_blog.html (last accessed 22 April 2014).