Find an Activity

These activities are based on a collection of interactions that can be achieved by using collaborative on-line Web 2.0 applications and services. Changes have been made to the original list, which was based on Bonk and Zhang's book 'Empowering Online Learning', has now being adapted to suit changing technologies in collaboration with professor Ana Iglesias from Computer Science Department of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M).

Aggregators / Data feeds / RSS

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These systems offer the user the chance to collect specific information from the web. Collections can be set up to appear as email or via a reader or on specific web pages. The range in data is enormous from academic references to books, latest videos or music and sites that aggregate news and blog such as Feedly.

Analysing data and surveys

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These applications and services allow users to analyse data from tests, evaluation, surveys and assessment applications and web services. Examples would be Hot Potatoes for making tests and Survey Monkey - results can be exported to other file formats. Online provision of data analytics is another aspect e.g. Google Analytics for web visitor traffic.

Annotating Multimedia

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This activity does not include tagging. It is more concerned with the annotation or captioning of slideshows and videos.

Audio / Video Conferencing / Streamed presentations

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This method of communication is immediate with or without video - synchronous with the use of broadband (the internet) via computer, tablet or phone. Voice over the Internet Protocol (VOIP) is one term used to describe talking over the internet using Skype or Google Hangouts etc.

Audio and Video Tools

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Products that support podcasting and other means of editing, sharing or distributing audio and video.

Blogging and Microblogging

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A way of keeping a journal, publishing and sharing ideas as a series of articles or short sentences of text (Microblogging) over time. The entries can contain text, videos, audio and images with comments coming from the readership. Articles on services such as Wordpress can be tagged, categorised and dated and with Microblogs such as Twitter, items are automatically dated and can have hashtags as way of following topics or be set up as a notification or personal message.

Calculations, Conversions, Vocabulary and Translation

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These services or applications offer users the chance to perform calculations both off and online. Conversions may occur on the fly or be stored and shared such as miles to kilometres with Google Calculator and unit converter. Conversions of file formats are also possible on and off line with programs such as Zamzar . The same applies for meanings of words like dictionary.com and translations whether via dictionaries or online services such as Google Translate.

Chart Creation

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Creating graphs and charts to display information.

Collaborative Writing / Creating documents

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Sites that allow users to work with others on documents, or provide a shared workspace such as Google docs and Microsoft Office Live or Zoho.

Conversion Tools

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Sites and services that are used to change the format of files or other information on the web so they are more accessible or more suited to a purpose. e.g. recording blog posts into mp3, putting bookmarks into a slideshow.

Creativity Requiring Niche Skills

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Products that require a level of creativity possessed by a niche. Examples include flickr "Tell a story in 5 frames" - requires minor photographic skills, but creative skills to construct the photo-story.

Data Storage

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Creating a local or remote copy/copies of a folder of data or files. The content of the folders and files may or may not be synchronised with the original data. A well known service is dropbox but there are now many other iCloud services for data that can also be shared with others.

Databases / Data Repositories

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These sites offer users a way of sharing collections whether these are books, photos, videos or objects. They can be sorted, searched and discussed and tend to be about a specific topic such as the Genome database .

Discussion Forums / Questions and Answers (Q&A)

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This is where individuals can come together in an online area to discuss topics of interest. Questions can be asked and there is the option for multiple replies to a single thread. The user has to go to the forum for the news rather than on a mailing list where the discussion may be received via email. Discussion forums tend to be set up by companies and are often used for answering queries so Answer.com might be considered a Q&A discussion forum and it is possible to set up your own discussion forum on a service like Google Groups.

Edutainment / Game based learning

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Activities that encourage learning including games that are online and can be used individually or on groups in an educational setting such as Duolingo.

Embeddable Content Generation

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Services which offer items that can be embedded in other webpages. For instance, YouTube videos can be placed on any webpage. These sites may also offer embeddable widgets such as calendars, guestbooks and the like.

eReaders / Browsers / Players

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Applications and online services that allow users to read web pages, documents, journals and books such as Mozilla Firefox web browser, Kobo reader or Youtube for video playing.

Extend Existing Service

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These items provide functionality that is currently unavailable on another Web2 service. The function is the key; items that source content from other services for their own specific use are not eligible. For instance, there are a number of sites that generate embeddable slideshows from Flickr albums. Seems like a rather short-lived business unless they innovate.

Finding People

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Finding people and chasing expertise (headhunting).

Instructional (how-to) Information

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Covers sites that provide instructional information on any topic. Example: VideoJug.

Map / Geographical Location tools

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Covers services that facilitate the publication of information cartographically, such as geotagged photos, waypoints, paths, tours and lines on maps. These services may allow the user to make and annotate their own maps, provide directions and share travels such as Google Maps.

Map Annotation and Directions

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Products that provide directions to locations and/or show points of interest.

Messaging, email and chat

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Asynchronous communication allows a user to send a message to someone who may not be online or is required to answer immediately. Email is a good example of this type of communication. It is possible to also leave messages on synchronous communication programs such as Skype and Google Hangout or other chat programs that can be read later. Discussion boards, social networks and forums would also come under this activity.

Mindmapping, Chart and Graphical Visualisation

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Applications or services that allow users to create, edit, display and/or share concept maps, charts and graphical representations that offer idea generation and visualisation of elements with multimedia and text. Users can send or embed the maps within documents online such as the feature offered by Mindmeister.

Multimedia Editing and Annotation Tools

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Online multimedia editing and annotation services and apps. These tools may also allow you to add captioning and transcriptions to the content making it more accessible.

Multimedia Presentations

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Presentations can be created offline and online. Saved and then shared. Diagrams, graphics, embedded audio and video and different types of text can be used.

Questions and Answers focus, like Yahoo Answers.

References - Storing or Fetching

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On-line store for references that can be shared with others and produce a bibliography.

Search Engines - web and blogs

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These are web based services that tend to use key words for collecting information from across the internet such as Google and Bing. They may be specialist services such as those offered by libraries or blog searches e.g. Technorati

Sharing Tools

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Collaborate and share images, videos and audio - save them and embed them in other Web 2.0 applications or documents and send them on to others. There are many tools that offer these services and more but some are specific to a type such as Flickr for photos or Dropbox for any files.

Simulating Tools / Virtual Worlds

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Products that allow users to develop visualisations of fantasy or real situations, collaborate and share experiences moving about within the applications such as SecondLife and Active Worlds. Simulation tools can also be used to teach activities such as flying and driving.

Social Networks

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Social networks are web services and sites that offer users the chance to share photos, images, messages and other activities that make up an online presence. Timelines and instant chat may also be available on such services as Facebook. They can also offer users the chance to build groups based on common interests and to set up forums with threaded topics.

Products which allow the user to take notes, either by writing them from scratch or capturing data from the web and annotating it. Creating documents from notes and generally manipulating text such as Lino sticky notes which can be rearranged on a board with added photos etc.

Text-based Editable Information

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Sharing information on any subjects that can be edited and viewed by others. These pages tend to be in wiki format.

Time Management / Scheduling

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Allowing groups and individuals to share meeting times, events and calendars. Organise time and plan projects with notes, reminders and even messaging systems or links to email etc

Video Sharing

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Sharing and storing video clips

Virtual Learning Environments / Learning Management Systems

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Products that may be used by students as part of their studies or by teachers to create and publish pedagogical resources. Virtual classrooms that can also include specific tools useful for students such as discussion forums, file uploads and timetables etc They can also provide developers with ways to author a learning environment such as Moodle which is open source or ATutor.