Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Blogging Tips

In Simon's World, through Blinger's Linguistic and ESL Blog:

Everything you wanted to know about blogging but were afraid to ask

Fun reading and most informative.

Another article you might enjoy in Natalie d' Arbeloff's:
Addicted to Blogging?
from her excellent cartoon-blog BLAUGUSTINE

and with so many posts on one single day, I temporarily retire :-)

Distributed Knowledge Management

Surfing yesterday on the subject of blogs, I came across this very interesting paper by Martin Roell " Distributed KM - Improving Knowledge Workers' Productivity and Organisational Knowledge Sharing with Weblog-based Personal Publishing , presented to BlogTalk 2.0, "The European Conference on Weblogs", Vienna, July 5th and 6th 2004.

It "explores the failure of traditional knowledge management to adress the problem of knowledge worker productivity and argues that a deeper understanding of knowledge work is necessary to improve it. It explores knowledge work and how it is supported with information technology tools today (focus on emails) and introduces weblogs as personal publishing tools, showing how personal publishing supports knowledge work processes."

Definitely worth reading and lots of links at the bottom to refer to!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Presentation

Last Wednesday August 25th, I had the audio workshop on blogs for Cyberlangues on Alado (details posted in the previous message). Together with me in the computer room at the Lycée Pasteur in Sao Paulo, nine teachers and two students of mine, who came to give their testimonials on how they view blogging in the classroom.

Online, about 20 teachers in Orléans and Webheads from a bit all over the world (Andy Pinçon, in chicago, USA; Jean Michel Chaupart in Bucamaranga, Colombia; Vance Stevens in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Renata Suzuki in Yokohama, Japan; Elizabeth Hanson-Smith in Sacramento, USA; Maria Jordano in Spain). Lukas Ritzel from Prasena and Mark Esposito from DCT also joined in from Switzerland.

After some suspense and worrying at the beginning (teachers in France only logged in 30 minutes after the scheduled time), we got comfortable and I managed to finish the presentation in time. Some of the hands-on experience was lost though, which is a pity.

During the first seven slides, France could not get the images. Tripod's
short address displays an error message in some computers. Fortunately I spotted it in time and typed the long address, which showed without any problem.

In spite of the initial tension, I believe this was a successful presentation. I had many examples and mails from Mario Asselin and Lisa, a teacher in France, commenting on their blogs. Some people shared their ideas onlines and added some extra spice. In this way people did not to fall asleep, rocked by the sound of my voice :-) Vance gave some examples of his photoblogs: one a traveler's account and the other he opened for community building while training teachers in Tunisia. Caroline and Mariana, my 10th grade students, were thrilled to be part of it all and to speak about what they had done. They interacted with the public and were much more at ease than many of the teachers present. Kudos to the kids!

The recording in Alado came out loud and clear. The presentation in French, split in three parts, can be found at :
Types of blogs
Hands On
You may find links to blogging references in all languages at:
http://cyber04.blogspot.com (column on the right)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Cyberlangues 2004

Cyberlangues is a French association of foreign language teachers who use CALL and new technologies in their classrooms. Every year since 2000, teachers have been getting together f2f for three days in summer to share their practice and experience.

This year, the colloquium will take place on 24th, 25th and 26th August in
Orléans and will be coordinated by Alain Krizic, EFL teacher at the Lycée Charles Péguy.

There are a number of
different speakers and I will be among them doing a two-hour workshop on blogs in language learning on August 25th from 12:00 to 14:00 GMT. As I cannot afford a trip to Orléans and am not on holidays at present, this will be an audio-conference on Alado net.

I am planning to have about 15 interaction at the beginning so that people can introduce themselves, 40 minutes devoted to the basics of blogging, characteristics and possible uses/examples of blogging in the classroom with some guest speakers talking about their experience using blogs, 15 minutes for Q&A and opening a blog and finally about 50 minutes of interaction using and configuring a blog. Some rehearsing time must go into it beforehand so I keep to the alloted time and practise my French, as this is the language all presenters will be using :-)

There will be about 25 teachers in Orléans, 7 local teachers before me in the computer room at school and about 6 to 7
webheads scattered around the world. I just hope technology will not fail me on D day. Yahoo Messenger and/or Tapped In will be open just in case...

The whole workshop will be recorded and made available from the Cyberlangues and Alado site. I will add the links once they are available.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Hosting the Neapolitans

Almost a month without posting! Shame on you, Bee!
Well...I have been busy as you can see, dearest readers. From July 20th to 30th, I was away from the computer, travelling with 5 students of mine visiting Rio and travelling along the coast to Sao Paulo with a stopover in Parati (lovely little colonial town).

We were hosting a group of Italian correspondents from Naples as a result of a collaborative project that started from an email contact after a visit to the Europe in Brazil project and continued through the Beeonline blog.

This is the kind of project I just love, when after some time of virtual collaboration and interaction the kids actually get to meet face to face.

We had loads of fun, trying to make ourselves understood in a Babel of languages. The common language was to be English but because some of them did not master it, they resorted to Italian, Portuguese , Spanish and French. Those who did not manage to communicate in English fluently noticed how important it is to learn it to make themselves understood more clearly in a foreign context. Those who had the language, realized they had to compromise, make allowances and look for the best expressions to convey meaning without hurting feelings.

I have not yet had time to sort out the pictures but as soon as I do, I will try to open a collective photoblog on Buzznet so as to illustrate our circuit and experience. Will keep you posted!