PLEs and Social Networking

Digital Stories

A - Design and Innovation

Design and Innovation Instructions

Producer - Chris W

Video Number: 8.a.49
Title: Social Networks and Personal Learning Environments
Location: MICDS
Outsourced Video - Vizter clip -jeffrey heer (

Producer – Sara T

Video Number: 8.a.50
Title Social Networks…Profile design
Summary - Want to know what makes a good interesting profile? What is it that attracts people to your page? And what features do social networks have that create and make communication effective? The answers to these questions with examples are all found in this video. Remember Design Matters!
Location – Qatar Academy in Doha, Qatar
Outsourced Video Segment producer – Christopher T. From the Westwood School in Camilla.

Producer Chris T

Video Number: 8.a.51
Title Social networks as classrooms
Summary - Mrs. Vicki speaking on how social networks has affected her personal learning enviroment
URL - On Wikispaces
Location Camilla GA
Outsourced Video Segment producer Converging issues

B - Story and Empathy

Story and Empathy Instructions

Producer: Zakaria S

Video Number: 8.b.52
Title of Video: Blog Heroes
Summary: It is a movie that was made to dramatize an actual event in which a suicidal teen expressed his feelings in a blog, so that his friends read it and rush to help him.
Location: Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, USA
Outsourced Video Segment Producer: Dustin W., Westwood, USA

Producers - Kat D and Joanna C

Video Number: 8.b.53
Title of Video: Abused children can get help through the net.
Summary: An abused girl post an urgent blog on the net saying that she is abused and a friend comes and helps her.
Location: Vienna International School, Austria
Not outsourced video.

Producer-Dustin W
Title of Video- Social Networking
Summary- the way people use social Networking in their daily lives
Location- Westwood Schools, Camilla
Not outsourced Video

C - The Fun Factor (Play)

The Fun Factor (Play) Instructions

Producer-Lee J

Video Number: 8.c.54
Title- PLE's and Social Networking
Location-Camilla, Georgia
No outsourced video


What are personal learning environments?

Personal Learning Environments (PLE) are basically set learning goals. The students decide what they want to learn, and how. The learner manages the content and the process of what they want to learn. The students are also able to communicate with other students from around the globe while they are in the process of learning. The personal learning environment is an electronic environment that allows someone to learn with the available resources. For some, a personal learning environment can consist of online resources such a blog, forum, or a specific web page. It can also consist of some sort of program or software. A PLE (Personal Learning Enviroment) can be as simple as a browser that has been configured with browser buttons and add ons to make one's learning more efficient.

What is social networking?

Social Networking is a social structure made of nodes which can be individuals or organizations, indicating the way they are connected through the internet and computers. Social networks are often used to connect people that have a common interest or activity. Many of the popular social networking sites have multiple ways to communicate and share information such as, email, messaging, chat, forums, blogs, pictures, videos, groups and many others. There are hundreds of social networking sites with the most poplular being Myspace has over 200 million memebers. Along with traditional social networking sites, there are many variations. variations including networks designed for younger students like Webkinz or ClubPenquin. There are networks for specialty groups like, a site designed for readers to discuss and rank books and Fan Nation, a site for sports fans to talk sports. Social networks can also be interactive, 3D enviornments.

Social Networks are examples of Web 2.0 tools


Above is video created by Common Craft, explaining social networking and how it works. This video could be watched on youtube.

Design and Features of Social Networks

Social network communities use member profiles to build identity. The profile displays a rich and appropriate set of information about the user. The profiles are used as rich representations of their preferences which enable them to express their identity through shared forum membership and connections to other members. This is the core of a social network.
Social networks also provide forums within a community. These display explicit links to those members who have chosen to join the group. A perfect, successful social network would have the following features:
Photo Sharing
  • Upload photos from a computer, mobile phone, or any other kind of social network account.
  • Add photo comments, ratings, tags, locations, favorites, and share your ideas via email.
  • Create, organize, and view albums.
  • View all photos from all the different social networks.

Video Sharing
  • Upload videos from a computer, mobile phone, or any video service on the web.
  • Add video comments, ratings, tags, locations, favorites, and share via email.
  • Create, view and “embed” Flash video players.
  • View all videos across the social network.

Discussion Forum
  • Start and tag a discussion.
  • Add discussion posts and reply to those posts.
  • Organize discussions by categories.
  • Click through the personal profile pages of other members engaged in the discussion.
  • View all discussions across the network.

  • The ability for members to create groups, and decide whether the group should be public or private.
  • Add group descriptions, images, discussions, and members.
Music & Podcasting
  • Create music and podcast playlists for each individual member of the network.
  • Create, view and “embed” Flash music and podcast players.

RSS Feedreader
  • Pull in a RSS feed to your network from an external source of news, information, or content.

These features attract people and members from all over the world to join a social network. And for those people who aren’t comfortable with opening up to the public, most social networks would allow you to customize your page, to make it available to the public, private or for a certain group or community. In addition to that, there are a variety of themes which you could customize and personalize for your page.

Current News

Blogging helps grieving wife

Social networking sites are a great way of expressing one's grief, sorrow and melancholy of mind. Most Americans are using the social networking sites to express either feelings or just as an online diary to keep a record of their daily life. In the United States about 8% of the population (12 million people) use blogs, and almost all of them are young teenage bloggers.(source) Blogging on social networks are replacing journals and diary's, instead of a old diary you have a diary that everybody can read from anywhere in the world. Claudette Glenn has lost her husband, Jeff, due to pancreatic cancer. At times during the day she realizes that she is a widow. Her blog helps her with her grieving even though she has friends and family to talk with. She talks about her life, her two children and also posts verses from the Bible and also from her husband's prayer journal.(source).

Title - Blog Heroes
Summary -
Producer - Zakaria Solotoff
Location - Los Angeles County High School for the Arts
Outsoucerd Video Segment producer -
Claudette Glenn working on her blog.
Image sourceflatclassroomproject » The Changing Shape of Information

The video is on open source software and how it has influenced information technology sector (IT). The video is from the World Summit on Information Society 2005 November.(WSIS) The video says that for years Microsoft has dominated the world of computing, but its software is beyond the reach of many in the developing nations. This 2-part series investigates that the poorest countries are now changing tack and using Free/Open Source software. However, recent international projects such as the $100 laptop project are aimed at making technology availale to children worldwide.

Impact on Education

Sabbab's Video, International School Dhaka

Uploading has changed the way we do our work over the Internet." We are no longer consumers but producers as well", as Thomas Freidman said. Indeed he is right and it has only been possible due to uploading. This is something that is changing the whole way of our thinking, understanding and most importantly our access to information. Being a consumer and a producer is thus changing the shape of our information.

When it comes to education, the very first thing that has influenced education is mainly through wikis. Owing to the fact that wikis are easily edited, teachers can have there own wikis created for their students where they can actually put up the tasks. Although this is a totally new concept it is already implemented in many schools, mainly because it is vary easy to learn. Even at the International School of Dhaka wikispaces is at use for the ITGS and French class and the best part of all is the fact that students can submit their work just through the wikis("consumer and producer") This is also environment friendly as no handouts are now needed for the tasks given to students. Besides wikispaces, the wikipedia is also a great resource of information and mostly importantly students can add more information on the wikipedia. The wikipedia is just like an online editable encyclopedia that is full of information and resources. Everyday it is edited by millions where a lot of unknown facts are put on. Although this sounds fabulous but the concept does have some draw backs. The only draw back is that it gets easy for pranksters to write things which might be really confusing for many. For example if a person has no idea of who hackers are and just look up a wiki for a preliminary idea, pranksters can easily fool them by saying that hackers are good people who are no bad then saints. Well this is something misguiding for someone who has no idea of what hacking is or who a hacker is. But we need not worry as this problem can be resolved by just restricting the unwanted user and simply by locking the wiki from the editing mode.

The very next thing that comes is blogging. Although we did know what blogging was a few years back but it was seen just as a site where teens go to meet new people online. Many parents and even teachers thought it was a waste of time with blogging and it had no good impact on education. But things have changed and now more people encourage blogging as it enhances learning. Not only does blogging keep a track of one's personal journal entries but also helps them to establish communication with others so as to share information, knowledge and resources. At ISD students use elgg for social networking and also for their ITGS and Theory of Knowledge classes. This is how information is accessed and shared among students at ISD. Besides elgg some also use hi5, myspaces, blogger etc.

This presentation was taken from Youtube and it is good contrast of how education was in the early days and how the use of wikis, open source and other technologies has changed education.

Impact on Employment

Sanjida's video, International School Dhaka

Jordan & Kristy - USA

Social Networks for Businesses

Some people are using Social Networking to boost their careers by using search engines such as Monster and other job search engines. Social Networking can also help business owners interact with people from countries all over the world. They can talk to them and ask them what they would do and how they would do certain things.

external image logo_ecademy_topleft.gif
Ecademy is a Social Network for businesses that allows business personell to communicate with each other even if they are in different businesses or in different parts of the world.
Ecademy's purpose is to:
  • Gain trust from professionals in different businesses
  • Encourage others and share important information
  • Look for potential job clients and job openings
  • Participate in events focused on Social Networking
  • Communicate and interact with people from around the globe

This video was made by the founder of Ecademy and explains in detail of how Ecademy helps businesses. It also features users of Ecademy explaining how they use Ecademy and how helpful it is in the business area.

Blogging in the business area

Blogging has cost bloggers their jobs because they talk about confidential information about their work place. Job seekers have written that they lie in interviews and that has kept them from getting new jobs. However, blogging can also be very useful in the work place. Blogs help businesses communicate with their customers. They give you a simple and direct way to connect with important people in and outside of a business. Blogs are also ways to learn about other businesses around the world and find out new ideas that could improve your business.
external image training.jpg

The site for ryze is RYZE provides its users with communications tools, forums, events and other services. These features, and any new features adopted by RYZE, (collectively, the "Service") are subject to the TOS. You understand and agree that the RYZE services are provided "AS-IS" and that RYZE does not assume any responsibility for the content of any of these communications, or for the deletion or failure to display or store any user communications.
NO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF THIRTEEN ARE PERMITTED TO USE RYZE. is a free social networking website designed to link business professionals. The site claims to have over 450,000 members in 200 countries, with over 1000 external organizations hosting sub-networks on the site. Both paid and unpaid membership levels are offered. Founded in late 2001 by Adrian Scottin San Francisco, it was the first of the new generation of social networking services, and was a heavy influence on Friendster, which was founded by early Ryze member Jonathan Abrams in 2002. The site has received a large number of positive media mentions in publications including, Newsday, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, USA Today and others. References are:
Social networking services can be a powerful professional ally to businesses in particular, independent entrepreneurs and smaller companies, for whom each new personal connection is a significant business building block. LinkedIn and Zero Degrees are two of the more popular services that facilitate business-oriented connections, and some argue these and similar sites are now doing a better job of connectivity than ever before. Technology is helpful for building business. Sales people know how to work their black books to make sales, and rolodexes can be businessperson’s best asset. Networking technologies gives companies a new set of tools for recruiting and customer service. Different companies considering building online communities for advertising, branding, or marketing will need to cede some degree of control over content. These services are becoming popular as business networking tools, because the price is right, most are free. The profit side of the business is very active in the art and culture world particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sometimes when people come across the profile on one of these networks, it reminds them that there is also a business side to the organization. As a result some new Web hosting order forms comes in that list in Tribe as source of referral.
Hoovers is known as the business intelligence service, and social software maker visible path are about to launch a new business-networking site called Hoovers Connect. Enterprise Web 2.0 is a micro-publication about management leadership and people issues raised by the next generation of web technologies. It is aimed more at technology savvy business mangers than professional technologies.

Business Blogs
external image marqui_logo.gif

Marqui is a blogging website that is used by businesses to help manage Web content, marketing campaigns, E-mail campaigns, and business blogging.
Video. This video tells you exactly how to set up a Marqui account, explaining step by step how to create your own account and get started using Marqui and it's uses.

RSS feed


    The feeds are for Bangladesh.

    2007 Editors:
    Sara T. - Qatar Academy