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Open Enthusiast, working in the field of Learning Technology. Long term cat owner and new-to-the-scene dog walker. All personal content is openly licensed.
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Using Withknown as a Portfolio tool for #BYOD4L

2 min read

As I did in 2015, I'm returning to withknown to participate and reflect on for 2016. This post serves as an intro to the tool and some of the features that make it a great tool for micro CPD stuff.

Firstly, you'll want to set up an account at and give your new blog a name. I've chosen my own name, as I'm concious that I have other blogs and portfolio tools online and want to try and consolidate my digital identity via this and my social media handle, the_markness.

Once you've done that, you'll see your new blog as an editor and that you have the ability to add various types of post and these are configurabale in the settings.

If you've ever used Tumblr, this menu will be familiar to you, but with the addition of things like status (for short form, Twitter like posts), location and audio. This to me makes it feel a bit more dynamic. You can also bookmark links and comment upon them.

Withknown also handles tagging (categorising topics/themes), but rather than tagging posts, it works much like hashtags on Twitter.. as in you add them inline like this . You can click on these links to show you any post that you've used this tag in and you can also use the Search box at the top to find a tag.

This way you can self curate your posts for using additional keywords like , , etc.

Once you're happy with a post, you can hit publish and also syndicate this to your social networks.

I only have Twitter enabled, but you also have the choose of Facebook, LinkedIn etc. If you also enable the Bridgy tool which connects your comments from social media back to your blog post.

For the adventurous, there are lots of other plugins and things that extend the use of the tool; markdown editing, collaborative blogging, new themes, but that's all yours to explore.

For educators, Known will integrate with your LMS/VLE and offers some of the social learning functionality and collaborative working that the web enables, but most current VLEs do not.

In a future post, I'll be looking at the withknown profile page and how you go about adding your badges and other info.

#BYOD4L - Curating

2 min read

Increased connectivity both in the information and social domain, suggests Steve Wheeler leads to an online learning landscape where context and community are key. We have streams of information that we have compartmentalised into Twitter lists or Pinterest boards that are designed around our interests. Whilst this helps limit noise in terms of articles and resources that we don't find useful, it can result in an information bubble where we aren't being exposed to alternative arguments or opinion. Many web resources now facilitate forms of social curation, facilitating interaction around these resources. Examples of this are group Pinterest boards or collaborative documents such as Google Docs/Sheets, and (as previously mentioned) where you can up/down vote add and comment on items within the list. Tools like Gibbon facilitate design of your own curriculum, curated around your interests.

Personally, I've also started using the blog as a form of curation and where there are reference points, I've added links. There is such a huge amount of knowledge available on the web, we need curation tools and curators to funnel the information and we need social interaction to facilitate critical engagement.