Today, I am enlightened by a definition of learning when I read about connectivism theory. “[L]earning must be a way of being – an ongoing set of attitudes and actions by individuals and groups that they employ to try to keep abreast to the surprising, novel, messy, obtrusive, recurring events…” (Vaill，1996：42）. Considering rapidly altering information online, how can we keep current while at the same time be well-organized in terms of our interested knowledge? I just dig a NEW tool called scoop.it which serves as an e-porfolio to gather related info together.
1) What is the technology/ What does it do?
Joining: Sign up for free with your facebook or twitter account. For me, my domain (EFL network) lays on twitter therefore I choose my twitter account. Then, what you should do is just type in e-mail address and password, of course. Next time, only these two info is needed for signing in, easy as other social tool.
Performing: You are right on the starting line! Keep in mind that you already got a social network either from facebook or twitter which means you are definitely not alone in this NEW virtual space. So, you can firstly check what others have scooped, and decide whether to follow their topics. Like twitter, you got an interface that gathers all the topics you follow. Unlike twitter, it has image and longer text. Better than twitter, it allows to create your own topic. THAT IS!! why this tool is so amazing. Go the dashboard label, type your topic, add description, add tag and add icon if you like. DONE! Then, it is very important to install the Bookmarklet and drag "Scoop.it" button to bookmark toolbar. Finally, you are ready to scoop every piece of on-line source, ranged from audio, video, or text to your curated page.
Enjoying: Since many well-known people and event got their scoop.it page. For the people, it is not as simple as that you follow that people so you should scan about everything s/he scoops. NO! You are the decision maker. You just follow the topic you have interest. For the event, you got the most updated information. More reader-friendly than those events' official page. Why? because it looks like informal magazine style but actually conveys first-hand sources. For example, Glasgow IATEFL Bloggers.
2) Why is this particular tool or technology relevant to language learning? What approaches to language learning or research underpin the use of this technology?
In my view, Scoops.it provides fruitful online materials for educators. The sources are from various social websites such as Guardian.com and social network such as twitter. Some sources are good for rethinking about teaching for example an article from Guardian titled 'Learning through crowdsourcing is deaf to the language challenge' and Some are good for teachers' communication '20 Twitter Hashtags Every Teachers Should Know About'.
Furthermore, it also provides loads of on-line learning resources for learners. For example, go to
It gives you learning websites like elllo (English Listening Online) or learning tips like the ten best vocabulary learning tips.
Actually, this tool is a nice application of connectivism raised by Siemens (2004). This theory states that learners keep current in their specific area, relying on connected others. This requires the skill of self-organization which is a micro-process in institutional environments. In our knowledge economy, the capacity to form connection is of vital importance. Scoop.it just is positioned as a 'mediator' to scaffold students to develop this skill, starting from raising a topic, to grab related information into a single page from massive online resources.
3) How might you use it to foster language learning in class/outside class?
For me, I will use scoop.it as a language teaching resource, which is next to the concept of portfolio. I do not google my topic just a day before my class but prepare for the potential usage on daily basis. If I find any interesting topics that will motivate my students, I will then present it out and it is really depending on the actual class process. (U will never predict what your Ss ask you!)
The next usage I am not so sure. Perhaps, I would use this tool as a pre-activity. For example, at the beginning of a term, I will invite my students to create their own topic in scoop.it. Perhaps two weeks later, I ask the whole class to vote for the best scoopt.it topic. The standard lies on the topic itself and the gathering info. The successful Ss can be my teaching assistant for the purpose of teaching a lesson around that elect topic. What about those who do not succeed? If they like, They could give presentations on their topics based on the gathering info, in order to persuade their classmates to voting for them as the next teaching assistant. They could choose to present their topics via podcast, mailVU or youtube. The final decision is made by their classmates. In this sense, scoop.it is regarded as a research database.
4) What limitations can you see with the use of this technology?
Something that worries me in terms of this tool is whether Ss will change its advantage into disadvantage. It means whether scoop.it contributes to knowledge filtering or just another composition of the crowd itself. Users should pay attention to select what to follow in case of getting missing among the self-contributed information flood.
Siemens, G. 2004. 'Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age.' Retrieved from http://www.ingedewaard.net/papers/connectivism/2005_siemens_ALearningTheoryForTheDigitalAge.pdf.
Vaill, P. B. 1996. Learning as a Way of Being. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Blass Inc