O nosso Stoa foi mencionado em Wired hoje.
The idea is spreading. Freely downloadable, Elgg now powers networks set up by nearly 50 schools and colleges around the world, including a particularly active rollout at Universidade de São Paolo in Brazil. In a country where social networking usually means finding a date using orkut, São Paolo's Stoa builds relationships between groups of physicists, literature students and others.
O jornalista Robert Andrews entrou em contato conosco via email. Deu trabalho de responder as perguntas dele, mas valeu a pena já pela chance que tive de articular as minhas idéias. Veja que mesmo neste era de spam, um email não-solicitado ainda tem uma chance de iniciar uma conversa.
Depois de ter respondido o jornalista fiquei pensando como era que decidi que este email era de um professional, que valia a pena responder, que não era mais um email do tipo spam. Analisando as minhas próprias reações, cheguei a conclusão que era o site dele com currículo, artigos publicados etc. que e outros indicadores de uma pessoa séria, mostrando mais uma vez a importância hoje em dia para uma pessoa ter um cartão de visita e presença professional na rede.
Veja aqui o email que escrevi. Como era de se esperar, não sobrou muita coisa no artigo, mas como falei, já valeu pela oportunidade de articular as idéias vagas na minha cabeça.
From: "Ewout ter Haar" <email@example.com>
To: "Robert Andrews" <XXX@XXX>,
Subject: Re: ELGG and social software
I'd be happy to answer some of your questions. We believe in Elgg, we have
an interest in its success, we invested heavily in it because we believe that
Elgg is one of the ways to use new internet tecnologies to further the goals
of our University, in particular our educational ones.
2007/4/3, Robert Andrews <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> Why did you decide to use ELGG for your needs?
> What is STOA all about and why did you need social networking software for
> your site/group?
improve communications and interactions between students and between
teachers and students. The name Stoa was chosen to invoke the image of
a public space for teachers and students (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoa).
If conventional learning management systems are analogous to classrooms,
Elgg would be analogous to hallways, lunchrooms, etc. One undisputed finding
in educational research is the group study works. We should therefore try to
reproduce and facilitate interactions between peers. Furthermore, the one-way
nature of the lecture-style course can be naturally complemented by these
sorts of internet technology.
We decided to use Elgg because it is open source, can be adapted to our
needs, already has an educational focus and actually is one of the very few
available social network platforms. The commercial value of social network
systems (as opposed to the actual networks) seems to be low, and it takes
people like Ben and Dave with enough commitment and who believe in their
project for its own sake to take such project forward.
> What are some examples of the way in which you use the software?
1. a personal portfolio, where students and teachers can share and
debate their work
2. a network tool, where students and teachers can find others with similar
Although it is not meant to replace a conventional virtual learning environment,
it can be used to easily upload class material, with the ability to
have an online
discussion about it. Students seem to be using especially their blog as the
expression of their academic identity.
> Do students/researchers enjoy using this software? You have a very active
> community - how did you create this success?
it clear that we are still in a testing-phase, rolling out new features and
integrating with other institutional information flows. We have had over a
thousand registrations (there are about 60.000 students at our University)
in about 6 weeks, but the great majority of them are just curious. Although
students seem to appreciate having easy access to a blog and a profile,
the community features of the software are not really being used as yet.
(Remember that we are only six weeks into the project)
We think that the key to active student participation are their teachers, and
we will focus our marketing efforts on them. But this is a difficult
as teachers are hesitant to expose their work in non-conventional venues:
> I presume your users are also familiar with sites like MySpace/Bebo/Facebook
> - in some parts of the world, schools/universities ban these sites from
> computers because they are a distraction, so I think it's interesting that
> universities like yours actually install social software tools - any comment
> on the use of collaborative tools in education; what are the benefits?
in making clear that our system has different goals. I mentioned the reasons
for using social software in an educational setting above.
I hope I have helped you. If you have further questions, don't
hesitate to contact
My name is Ewout ter Haar, I am part of the teaching staff at the University
of São Paulo. This project is being carried out by a the research group CEPA
under the leadership of Prof. Gil da Costa Marques. All people involved are
mentioned here: http://stoa.usp.br/sobre#creditos
Ewout ter Haar