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                                                                                                           http://img.printfection.com/1/1147/3989398/xOrz6.jpg                    

                                                                                 www.xanga.com

What is Xanga?

Xanga.com is a web 2.0 application developed by Marc Ginsburg, Dan Huddle, and John Hiler in 1998 [1]. The original purpose of Xanga was to share book and movie reviews. It slowly developed and is now used for social networking and sharing blogs, videos, audio, and photos with others [2]. Within Xanga's blogs, one can write about their life and views on any subject, just as one would write in a diary or journal.  It's easy and free to start an Xanga profile; all one has to do is go to www.xanga.com and click "join now" and then make a username and password to log in.  One can then make a profile, which can be made either public or private [3].

                                                                                     

                                                                                              http://z.about.com/d/personalweb/1/0/9/H/xanga.jpg 

Contents

1. Using Xanga

2. Xanga in:

     a.) Elementary schools

     b.) Secondary schools

     c.) Post secondary schools

     d.) Businesses

3. Educational/Professional Value of Xanga

4. References

Using Xanga

Xanga, like other web 2.0 applications, is a social networking site that targets mainly younger or older people with some in between. There are many unique ways to use Xanga; one can even read others' blogs even if they do not have a blog of their own.  When one creates a Xanga profile, one can add friends, web logs, videos, albums, audio and pulse, or a miniblog [3]. 

One can also add Plugz to their sites.  Plugz are headlines, images, or descriptions that link to specific Xanga URLs.  Plugz also allow sites to get noticed and receive more traffic and comments [4]. 

One can also join a blogring on Xanga.  A blogring connects a circle of weblogs with a common focus or theme.  One can meet people with similar interests in a blogring [4]. 

There are also six blogging branches within Xanga that one may subscribe to in order to read others' blogs or meet other people: Datingish, Healthkicker, Momaroo, Dollarish, Lovelyish, and Revelife. Datingish is the dating community that focuses on dating and relationships while Healthkicker is where one can go to blog about a healthier life and focus on dieting and fitness. Momaroo is for mothers and focuses on parenting. Dollarish focuses on financial discussions, and Lovelyish includes blogs about beauty, makeup, and fashion.  Revelife is a Christian community and focuses on the mind, body, soul, and Christianity [4].

                                                              

                                                                                                                                   www.xanga.com
 

Xanga in the Elementary Classroom

Xanga could be a useful tool in an elementary classroom because it contains lots of fun stories and games that will keep the attention of the students. Xanga could be a good source for discussion for elementary students because teachers could read articles to the students and have the discuss them online. Students could also experience cooperative learning on Xanga as they communicate with others [5]. 

Lesson Plan - "Frog and Toad Together"

Grade Level: 4

Overview

Purpose: For students to understand and comprehend that there are many different ways to communicate throughout the classroom and through the internet with the use of a computer. They will also learn how to write a weblog and make a to do list, and comment on each other's lists.

Objective

-          Students will learn how to predict the outcome of  the story, "Frog and Toad together"
-          Students will learn how to use the Web 2.0 application
-          Students learn how to create a "to do" list

Standards

-          4.2.3. - Draw conclusions or make and confirm predictions about text by using prior knowledge and ideas presented in the text itself, including illustrations, titles, topic sentences, important words, foreshadowing clues, and direct quotations.
-          4.2.5. - Compare and contrast information
-          4.4.9. - The use of a computer

Materials

-          A copy of "Frog and Toad together" by Arnold Lobel
-          A bulletin board of showing Toad's list of things to do
-          Worksheets titled "Things to do today"

Procedure

-          For the teacher to read the story 
-          Ask questions related to Toads "To Do" list
-          Have the students log onto Xanga and write a "To Do" list

Evaluation

-          Ask the students if there were similarities between their own "To Do" list compared to Toad's list
-          Have the teacher look at all of the student blogs online and evaluate each blog to see if the student's understood the lesson

                                                                                          

                                                                                                   http://techsavyparent.com/images/kids_at_computers.jpg

Xanga in the Secondary Classroom

Xanga could be used in a secondary education setting as a means of satisfying a student's needs for social interaction. Talking to other people on Xanga could help students solve problems or get help with questions they may have. Students in middle school or high school would benefit with this application because they could talk to other students in their class online. Interaction on Xanga could be used as a motivational activity by a teacher to provide information in a more interesting way then just coming to class and doing book work. Students could participate in a conversation on Xanga which could, in turn, motivate them more because it would be more interesting. Xanga could also apply to cooperative learning because students could be assigned to small groups and interact and share ideas [6]. 

Xanga in Post-Secondary Education 

Like any other level of education Xanga satisfies a students needs for social interaction. Talking to other people on Xanga could help you solve problems or help with questions you may have. Students in college would benefit with this application because they could talk to other students in their class online. Interaction on Xanga could be used as a motivational activity by a teacher to provide information in a more interesting way then just coming to class and doing book work. Students could participate in a conversation on Xanga which could in-turn motivate them more because it would be more interesting. Xanga could also apply to cooperative learning because you could assign small groups and have them interact and share ideas on this application [7].

                                                                                                         
                                                                            http://www.best-laptop-guide.com/image-files/best-laptop-computers-for-college-students-1.jpg

Xanga and Business 

Xanga could be used in a business industry in many ways. Instead of meeting regularly, a group could create their own blog and post thoughts and ideas there. They could get on once a week and chat online. It would be convenient because if someone randomly thinks of a good idea towards a presentation or finds some interesting research, they can immediately post it on the blog for the rest of the group to see and possibly enhance.  An example of this can be seen on http://weblog.xanga.com/business_directory/634191786/businessdirectoryhe.html\ [8]. 

Xanga's Educational Value 

Xanga definitley has a certain amount of educational value right now, and it definitely has an even greater potential to increase its educational value.  Many schools have discussed using this in the classroom to help students express their own thoughts and ideas about certain topics related to schooling, which is proof that the use of Xanga is on the rise in today's world of education [9 & 10].

                                                                                                   
                                                                                                http://www.echohorizon.org/programs/images/boy_laptop.jpg

References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanga

2. http://www.xanga.com/DEXTR/605708035/cinderella-lesson-plans.html

3. http://www.ehow.com/how_2031293_start-own-xanga.html\\\

4. http://web2.sys-con.com/node/282142\

5. www.xanga.com

6. Educational Technology for Teaching and Learning pages 87 and 107

7. Educational Technology for Teaching and Learning pages 87 and 107

8. Educational Technology for Teaching and Learning pages 87 and 107

9. http://weblog.xanga.com/business_directory/634191786/businessdirectoryhe.html\\

10. http://namckeand.blogspot.com/2005/04/benefits-of-xanga.html

     http://www.edutopia.org/social-networks

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                   http://www.logotwo.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/xanga.gif
               

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