Here’s a useful way of using Pageflakes in the classroom. A not so recent but still very exciting and relevant blog post by Will Richardson in Weblogg-ed (dated 21 November 2006) discusses Pageflakes as a dynamic student portal. Will talks about creating a topic-specific page on Darfur/Sudan built on tag feeds from YouTube for videos, Flickr for photos, the New York Times and the Sudan Tribune for news, del.icio.us for what people are bookmarking, and Google Blogsearch blogs.
I like this on so many levels. Firstly, the teacher has some control over sources and content used – not control in the sense of censorship, but in terms of providing selective and relevant results. Secondly, the student has choice in selection of information, and in deciding what to do with it (hopefully scaffolded). Thirdly, the information is being constantly updated, is current and relevant, and supported by people’s reactions globally. Technology allows us to connect globally, so it’s a good idea to get information from the part of the world that’s relevant, and also read comments from different parts of the world. Talk about 21st century learning and teaching – it’s a far cry from teacher- and textbook-limited information of my school days. What better way to teach RSS!
Recently I found a green Pageflake – one based on an environmental theme. Have a look.