Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Ourmedia allows you to store video, music, photos, audio clips and other personal media for free on their servers forever, as long as you are willing to share your works with a global audience.

According to their mission statement, they are several things in one:

- An open-source project built and staffed by volunteers
- A destination Web site that freely hosts grassroots video, audio, music, photos, text and public domain works
- A community space to share and discuss personal media
- A learning toolkit to help our members create rich and compelling works
- An archive so that these works can be preserved for the ages
- A clearinghouse that allows anyone to search for licensed video, audio or music, download it and remix it, with proper attribution. Legally.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Webheads Fiesta during Tesol 2005 Convention

From March 30th to April 2nd, Tesol holds its 39th Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
Many EFL/ESL webheads will be travelling for the presentations. For this thriving community of practice, used to collaborating synchronously and asynchronously online, meeting face to face is not only an opportunity to get together and celebrate but also take part in a multi-media feast. ElderBob Brannan will be hosting the Webhead Fiesta, "a tasty mix of live and virtual participation", at the Houston Street Bistro in San Antonio on March 30th 00:00 UTC/GMT.
Online venues will include Tappedin, Alado and Learning Times.

Stay tuned!
Categories:; , ,

Friday, March 18, 2005

Blogstreams Salon: Blogging toward Learner Autonomy

As an extension to the Evo05 blogging workshop, every Sunday at 22:00 GMT, Aaron, Graham and I host the Blogstreams Salon at Tappedin, where teachers involved in EFL/ESL blogging come for informal chats. Once a month we hold a special presentation at ASO (After School Online room). Next Sunday, for instance, we have Aaron Campbell on
"Blogging toward Learner Autonomy".

The presentation is free and open to interested teachers and bloggers.

Categories: , , ,

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

A letter of support

I would like to make public the request for supportI got yesterday from the Centre for English Teacher Training in Budapest, Hungary. An unfair and insensitive cost-cutting campaign is putting at risk the survival of the centre. Highly respected academics with more than 20 years in the field are being sacked without any professional consideration. A paper seems to matter more than quality work and commitment.

Dear Colleagues, Friends of CETT-Budapest,

The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the future of the Centre for English Teacher Training (CETT) of Eötvös University has been given a heavy blow by the Dean of the faculty, who has decided not to renew the contract of 9 staff members once these contracts expire 31 August 2005. His only explanation has been that the 9 people still do not possess a PhD degree. While this is true, most of the colleagues concerned are near finishing their degree. What is more, the Dean has not considered any other alternatives which might allow us to remain functioning as a team. His decision, devoid of any professional consideration, is likely to put an end to the successful professional life of our institution, CETT-Budapest.

Should you wish to express your support for the educational values underlying CETT's professional activities in pre- and in-service teacher education, as well as for the staff who initiated and maintained that programme for about 15 years, please, send an e-mail message to the following address: ! You may write a few supporting words too, or simply give your basic data (e.g. "Laura May, teacher trainer, Basel") in any human language (at least your full name is required). We have started to gather the names of the supporters who have sent their e-mails to the address above (200 in 3 days!), and we wish to continue doing so with the new mails coming in. The daily updated list of supporters is made public on the Internet on the following webpage:

The full list of supporters will be used to show university officials, as well as to any interested member of the national and international professional community in support of our institution.

Please feel free to send the letter on to colleagues, other professionals you think might join the cause.

Thank you for your support in any form. We look forward to receiving your e-mails!

With best wishes,
The still intact and committed staff of CETT-Budapest
Here is my answer
To whom it may concern

I am writing to express my support for the staff members of CETT (Eötvös University) and in particular for Péter Rádai. Although I do not reside in Hungary or Europe, but am an EFL teacher in distant Brazil, I have come to know the excellent work developed by the Centre thanks to Péter. Not only have I been lucky to participate and collaborate with him on a European project but I have also received his encouragement and help for my nomination for the
Global Schoolnet Award.

I can bear witness to his involvement, reliability, professionalism, commitment, and enthusiasm in the area of teacher development, without which a PhD or any other diploma is meaningless.

Please reconsider your decision and allow the staff members to continue bringing recognition and prestige to Eotvos University through their excellent and professional work.


The Weblog Project

The weblog project imagined and planned by Robin Good, Marco Montemagno and film producer Massimo Stella will be the first open source, FREE, grassroots movie to support and promote the blogosphere where featured stars, producers, fundraisers and actors are the bloggers themselves.

The film springs from their passionate belief in "the importance of communicating, both online and offline, the potential of blogging to those who have yet to be be exposed to it, or those who have so far failed to catch on to the major transformative consequences that blogs can have in our immediate future."

Listen to the video interview between Robin Good and Corante's Alex Williams. Stay tuned!


Sunday, March 13, 2005

Which Polyhedral Are You?

Nate posted this quiz on his blog and I decided to have a go. The first time, surprise, surprise:

I am a d100

I thought some of it was not very becoming so decided to try it again, changing some of the previous choices (had to let go the red ancient dragon and the blue diamonds among others), and now got:

I am a d20

A bit of both I guess and some more ;-)


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Firewalls of the Mind

Firewalls of the Mind
Firewalls of the Mind,
originally uploaded by bee1.

In Lesley's Graham's Peregrinations, I found the tip to Letter James, which allows you to insert a personalized text on a given picture motif. I first heard the expression firewalls of the mind used by Vance Stevens . As I looked at the Berlin Wall photo, I couldn't resist subverting it by scrawling my message on it. Emily Pohl-Weary on graffiti says: "public postering is an evolving medium of social dissent, community communication and grassroots promotion."

The fermentation of ideas, the associations and connections created by these online readings and conversations is what most attracts me to blogging.... They renew my perception, inspire me and encourage me to act.

A collection of quotes from recent read blogs:

Robert Patterson says blogs are " a generative space in which we can give birth to our lost voice. As we find our voice, we begin to wake up....This open space invites us to speak in public. Hesitantly at first we speak the old way. But now and then the occasional real voice pops out. As it does, others notice and drop by and encourage us. Encouraged we use our real voice more often. More people drop by and encourage us. Community begins to form..."

reflecting on the post above deplores the "societies of people alienated and manipulated by institutions of government, big business, advertising, and healthcare, while institutions of education merely provide more fodder for the status quo machine: brainwashed, powerless, and mentally enslaved "citizens"
who equate happiness with material possession and consume, vote, and act in accordance with such conditioning"

Flemming Funchs "An old rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open, free and exciting is waking up"

Yes...once you allow yourself time to explore, connect, interact and collaborate instead of quartering yourself to your confines, consuming and complaining, you unfold, become more autonomous and creative. Bring down these firewalls of the mind, look at the world out there with your own eyes and let your voice be heard!


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

You can't always get what you want...

I just wish I were more reflective than action oriented. I wish my day contained more hours (though I wonder whether I would use them judiciously...). I wish I could read all the books piling up on my night table, which I long for but can only leaf before my eyes close in exhaustion. I wish I could remember half of what I read ... but you can't always get you want...

This is the song that was playing while we were driving to our country house last Saturday morning and that gave me the idea for this short clip. (you can click on the link if you cannot open the embeded file...but this means you will have the big screen open instead of the small console below...and will not be able to read the narration...which, unfortunately, I have not been able to insert successfully on top of the song...will keep trying though...with a little help of my friends)

You see …we live in Sao Paulo…, an octopus of a metropolis, which we flee every time we can to breathe and to oxygen mind and body. This is where we relax, where the family gets together for endless Saturday lunches and barbecues, where we celebrate Christmas together. It is our refuge. However, last week, while painting one of the bedrooms, my husband discovered that the ceiling was rotten, eaten by wood worms and was about to give in. To make things worse, in this cleaning, painting and remodelling spree in the country, we also decided that in the city, our fitted carpet had already served its years and we opted for a new clean white parquet, which was delivered this week. However, what we did not realize when we bought it, was that installing it would be soooo messy and dirty.

The flat is an egg, barely containing all the books, computers and a family of four. Add to it three workers, all the furniture upside down and being moved from one room to another while the old was being replaced by the new. For three days we lived on a campsite, swept by a dust tsunami, which covered every nook and filled every recess. As a result, we spent the whole Friday of evening wiping, cleaning and tidying, sorting out the wires hanging loose so as to get everyone connected again.

And Saturday morning we just overslept … and on our way discovered we had left the list of what we needed to buy at home…happens in the best families...

The positive thing about it is that we had the whole weekend unable to carry on what we had planned, so I got into Windows Movie Maker to make this clip. I have also tried posting it to my personal blog at Livejournal but the console would not appear (???). I wonder whether there is a different type of code that must be inserted there. Any ideas?