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Huda Khan

1)I chose the site where children collaborate and create their own work.

The following are excerpts from the site's "For Grownups" section:
"Aimed at kids aged 13 and under, the MaMaMedia website includes a number of innovative, interactive educational opportunities...
Activities on the site are meant to help kids develop the three X's: eXploration, eXpression, and eXchange of ideas and creations with digital media and technology tools...
Web experiences for kids should be about learning by doing within a multidimensional creative process, rather than being confined by linear stories or questions and answers. "

2) Briefly discuss for your chosen website:

a)what did you find interesting about it?

What I found interesting about this site was that this site is geared completely towards children and is trying to engage them in creative pursuits. At the same time, the different kinds of activities that children within which children can be involved are divided into four different categories:
playing games and cards, surfing and creating collections of websites, collaborative activities like joining clubs and sharing ideas, and creating digital art work/screens.

Surfing the web is an activity that many people do on the internet, but this site provides a framework for teaching children how to surf effectively and helps them understand ways of finding information as well as allows them to "collect" websites.

The surfing category is further subdivided into areas where children can explore sets of sites suggested by Mamamedia or areas suggested by Mamamedia. In a very engaging manner, the site teaches and helps children learn how to surf and find relevant websites.

b)in which way is it related to "collaboration"?

The collaborative aspects of the site are found under the "Buzz" or Join Clubs, Share Ideas, and Make Art section of the site. In this section, children can create different art, like movie art, and then share their creations with each other. There are also message boards where children can answer questions and share their answers with each other as well as various "polls" which ask children to contribute their views on various topics.

c) how does it compare with the Swiki used for our class?

On our Swiki, there are various assignments under which individuals can contribute their own answers and findings and view other participants' work. Similarly, on Mamamedia, the site is organized into different areas for activities or topics, and children can post their individual work as well as see the work of other children. Both the site and our Swiki also have help instructions and guidelines for submitting and editing work.

3) have you ever read a book(s) / article(s) (or books) about collaboration? if yes:
Give Title and paragraph info.

It's debatable whether I should call this the most "important" but the theory of common ground is definitely an interesting one which becomes relevant within the context of any collaborative activity.

Title: "Common Ground in Electronically Mediated Communication: Clark's Theory of Language Use" by Andrew Monk. Chapter 10 in HCI Models, Theories, and Frameworks (Toward a Multidisciplinary Science), Edited by John M. Carroll.


"The key concept in Clark's theory is that of common ground. Language is viewed as a collaborative activity that uses existing common ground to develop further common ground and hence to communicate efficiently. The theory (1) defines different kinds of common ground, (2) formalizes the notion of collaborative activity as a 'joint action', and (3) describes the processes by which common ground is developed through joint action."

    • I misread the question and gave an excerpt paragraph.
What I found interesting was the exploration of many of the ways face to face communication allows for the building of common ground in ways we generally take for granted, e.g. signals, gestures, body language, conversation break-down and repair. Clark gives a certain framework for defining what we take for granted, which allows for analysis in communication contexts other than face to face communication.

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