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Serious Fun in Education: Using Microblogging

Serious Fun in Education: Using Microblogging



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Published by Carmen Holotescu
Article about using the microbbloging platform cirip.ro in running online courses.
Article about using the microbbloging platform cirip.ro in running online courses.

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Published by: Carmen Holotescu on Nov 01, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Knowledge Based Organization 2008 International Conference
 drd. Carmen Holotescu
 , dr. Gabriela Grosseck
Technical University,Timisoara, Romania,cami@timsoft.ro
University of the West, Timisoara,ggrosseck@socio.uvt.ro
 Microblogging is the Web2.0 technology with one of the most important impact in education in the last couple of years. On a microblogging platform,the users can send and receive messages via the web, SMS, instant messagingclients, and by third party applications. The most known platform is Twitter.The authors introduce a Romanian microblogging platform especiallydesigned for education, called Cirip, trying to provide arguments for using thismicroblogging platforms in education, underlining both the advantages and (possible) bad points. Some concrete examples are presented, in which the platform is used for delivering entire online courses, for courses enhancement, for communities of practice, and as an eportfolio.
 Keywords: microblogging, cirip, online course, education, e-learning
1. Introduction
Cirip.rois a microblogging platform launched this year on March,implemented byTimsoft, a company specialized in e-learning andmobile applications, under the first author's coordination. Theplatform already has many educational uses, for information andknowledge management, for courses enhancement, for collaborativeprojects in universities, for communities of practice, or as aneportfolio [7] [8].Between June 4-18, 2008, the authors developed and moderatedan online course, in a private group. It is a world premiere, the firstonline course developed and run entirely on a microblogging platform.
Knowledge Based Organization 2008 International Conference
2. The purpose of the course
The aim of this course was to find out if microblogging can beintegrate in the lifelong learning / teaching / collaboration / business / blogging. The topics addressed were: microblogging platforms,Twitter facilities, Cirip facilities, uses in education, uses in business,uses in blogs promotion etc.We wanted to investigate:
if a microblogging platform, in particular cirip.ro, can be usedas a Learning Management System (LMS), and if it has theneeded facilities to run an online course;
how to integrate microblogging with other Web2.0technologies;
what are the differences between facilitating an online courseon such a platform and one in a classic LMS.
3. Platform facilities and group
The course was hosted and run in the private groupcursmb
of themicroblogging platform cirip.ro.A group has a special section for announcements (
Group News
) -another original element of the platform, where the moderators canpost notes and useful materials for the group activities (figure 1).The authors have published in the announcements both notes onthe proposed activities and course resources (mainly tutorials oncourse topics, with a variety of multimedia elements).The discussions on the proposed themes were realized throughmessages sent by the participants in the group space. Messages can besent / monitored online (web site or CiripFox – a Firefox extension) oras: SMS ( it’s simply to track the group messages via mobile phone);instant messages; e-mail (daily notices with followed messages,answers, new followers or news are received by those who activatethis option); it is also possible to send e-mail messages on cirip.ro,including in groups.
Knowledge Based Organization 2008 International Conference
Figure 1. Group news,http://www.cirip.ro/grup/cursmb
Other valuable options are the facilities to send live video / audiomessages and to integrate multimedia objects in the notes, thesebecoming part of the information / communication flow (eg. audioclips saved on a server or vocaroo, audio clips from e-ok.ro, trilulilu ordeezer; flickr or tinypic images, youTube, seesmic or dotsub videos;slideshare, voicethread or flowgram presentations; pdf, docs orspreadsheet files etc. [1]).Besides discussions and debates conducted by the wide range of messages we carried out a series of collaborative exercises, which willbe presented in the next section.
4. Participation in discussions
Although initially 50 people have registered, 40 of them haveactively participated. The participants were mainly educational actors(students, teachers, developers, librarians etc.). They appear in themembers section of the group. For each member, the total number of contributions in the group is listed. The
option shows agraphical representation for the group.

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