Saturday, August 19, 2006

Flock & Teaching/Learning

From Dave Tosh's Edufilter interview with Stephen Downes, Downes says -
In my mind, the browser is the LMS, and will continue to be the LMS. This is why I watch developments on the browser side, such as Flock, very closely.


(LMS = Learning Management System)

This fall I will be encouraging my students, as I have been encouraging my JNthWEB clients, to  use Flock for their Web work. It is the Web 2.0 browser, aimed at the social user, perfect for a variety of communication tasks. In the screenshot above you can see

  • both the icon for connecting to a Flickr or Photobucket account and how it can be displayed;
  • the address bar's blue circle with an embedded white star which allows you to add a site to your Favorites, and if connected to a social bookmarking account, like my account, to that, all in one click; and
  • The plume icon for the (WYSIWYG - see the Toolbar!) blogging tool and its window open and in use.

The other major aspect of Flock that I don't use but am recommending to my students and clients is its aggregation tool for blogs and news sites you want to follow easily and regularly (in the icon bar between the photo and blogging icons above). I will continue to use my Bloglines account (second from the left in the tabs under the photo stream) because I am used to it and like its set-up.

Oh, and of course, its Search Field on the upper right which searches a variety of search tools and lets you choose which one you want this time.

Flock has, as you can see, centralized a number of important Web communication aspects all within itself as a browser. For someone just beginning to learn how to use the Web, especially the social aspect of communicating using Web 2.0 tools, Flock is a great browser to introduce both the concepts and the tools.

The education is not in the tools, but rather, in the use of the tools


If people can learn the concept of what they can do, they are better off learning the open access free tools, such as Flock, than other over-specialized and over-complex systems that have limited uses. IMHO.

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