Social Participatory Media

During this impromptu meeting about social media in the second part of the afternoon, we discussed the difference between traditional applications and media (one to many, push) and the so called Web 2.0 platforms and tools or social, participatory media (many to many, pull) as they are called.

While some years ago, in order to operate and publish online one needed a server, sophisticated technical knowledge and proprietary desktop applications, nowadays most multimedia tools and platforms are internet based (cloud computing) and allow anyone to access them and publish (most have free accounts). This allows anyone to interact with a wider community, develop their online identity and make their work known.
However, a caveat: "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch". These social networking sites collect data about you, which is used for purposes unknown to you and raise privacy issues. See Facebook Privacy Issues and this Canadian government video snippet:

We also mentioned that while the online world gives us the possibility to rip, mix and burn, it is important to point out to students there are copyright rules to be observed. Google and online material is not a free for all common ground from which you can take as you please. In order to use other people's material one should ask or check whether it is under a Creative Commons License and give attribution.

Participatory media gives us the possibility to do things together openly for the common good. Examples of crowdsourcing :
Para Entender a Internet (collaborative book in Portuguese)
Adote um Parágrafo ( translation of seminal blog posts from English to Portuguese)
Wikieducator (lesson plans and educational material)

Examples of international collaboration in TEFL were also given
and some projects that emerged from this experience
Mentor Young Caucasus Women
Back from the Holidays

We also had a quick overview of RSS, aggregation and tagging (folksonomies). With RSS and aggregation, news comes to you instead of you having to surf from site to site.
Examples of aggregators
Google Reader

Examples of tagging (folksonomies) (key words which you use to label online content and allow you to aggregate all material under that tag)

Links to free Professional Development, Communities of Practice and Online Events