Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Frappr Map for Writingmatrix and thewebisflat

I'm placing here a Frappr map looking for a home. I'm putting it here so I can tag it (label it) writingmatrix and thewebisflat. From those two tags, I'm hoping that Technorati will be able to locate it in conjunction with two of my projects:

If you are involved in either of these projects, please add yourself to the map here!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Multiliterate Autonomous Learner, and Teachers' attitudes influencing students' openness to technology (prequel)

The article derived from this prequel has been blogged here:

Comments welcome!

I've somehow taken on the job of Keeper of the Worm, the Technology Worm as part of the "Autonomy and the language classroom: opening a can of worms!" project for the IATEFL/LASIG: Learner Autonomy Special Interest Group's lead-up to the Exeter IATEFL conference. See the Can of Worms link at: http://learnerautonomy.org/wormsindex.html and mention of me as 'keeper' of the Technology worm here: http://learnerautonomy.org/wormsmay2007.html. In conjunction with this I have been invited to present (perhaps online) at the conference in Exeter in April 2008. I'm supposed to produce a paper on this by the end of June.

In correspondence today with Jo Mynard (she's the one gave me the worm) I got to thinking what I might write about this. Autonomous does not mean isolated or 'by oneself' - an autonomous learner is one who self starts him/herself in the direction of a learning strategy in which these days a learning community might figure highly. Therefore leaning strategies leading to community and network building might be productive in producing both autonomous teachers and learners.

I think we can find models of behaviours we would like to impart in teachers who take advantage of as many learning opportunities as are available in their distributed learning networks which they nurture and explore (i.e. are themselves autonomous vs. those who whinge about opportunities for professional development not being laid on for them - not particularly autonomous; but I'll try to avoid the negative when I produce the paper). These teachers MODEL in turn for students, and stand a better chance of inculcating the desired behaviour.

I chanced on a strong bit of support for that in a podcast I happened to be listening to on my way to work this morning. It was Cheri Toledo's presentation at the FOE conference that just ended: The presentation can be viewed and heard here: http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/foe-2007/Cheri_Toledo/ (nice slides, there's a trend toward artsy in slides these days; hard for some of us to keep up).

The audio support I had in mind was actually a sound bite from one of her guest voices, Kathy Clessen (heard on the recording; apologies for spelling) to the effect that she found in her district that students whose teachers used CMS's and Web 2.0 tools in their teaching tended to be the ones whose students became most comfortable with using technology in their ongoing teacher training whereas an avoidance by teachers of technology tended to harbor concomitant discomfort and avoidance in student teachers.

I liked the sound bite and took the liberty of mashing it up (cut out some audio here and there). I have stored it here:


In addition I have embedded the recording in Web players in two places on the Internet:

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Testing testing technorati 1,2,3 ....

I'm making what I think is great headway on the text of my three lectures for the Summer Course in Spain coming up July 11-13 in San Sebastian, Basque country (I think it's great but I'm a week over deadline arghh). I'm writing this text out here: http://www.homestead.com/prosites-vstevens/files/efi/papers/tesol/ppot/2007/basque2.htm

It's called Basque2 because it's the second lecture. Later a first lecture will be added, and parts of this one will become lecture 3.

In the course of writing all this out, as with the Writingmatrix project http://webheadsinaction.org/node/174, I'm learning as I go. What I have just learned was the impetus for this post, and that is ...

Technorati says it will give me a feed on blog postings tagged Writingmatrix if I plop this code in my blog. Let's see what it does:

I have discovered (hint from Robin's presentation, below) that if I use the above link and choose to See All (all 1000 postings tagged writingmatrix) then I will discover at the top of that page a SUBSCRIBE link. If I right click on that and copy the link location, then I get: http://feeds.technorati.com/feed/posts/tag/writingmatrix. Now, I can simply copy that FEED link and ADD it to my Bloglines account, and now I can track through Bloglines the moment that ANYone in our group makes a posting tagged 'writingmatrix'. Try it!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Preparing to give a series of lectures in Spain

In preparation for my upcoming lecture series in Spain, http://www.vancestevens.com/writing.htm, I have been working hard on the side lately trying to figure out how aggregation works throughout the blogosphere (see my wiki collaborations at http://beevance.wikispaces.com and http://writingmatrix.wikispaces.com). Time is at a premium but I took a moment the other day to accept an invitation from Robin Good, who offered to show me how to aggregate content through http://www.mysyndicaat.com. Robin had made a zany keynote for us at http://wiaoc.org in which he introduced us to http://www.operator11.com and ended by packing up his video streaming equipment and riding off with it on his motorcycle through the streets of Rome.

Robin made clear at the outset that I could make any kind of use of his presentation that I wished, so I made a Camtasia recording. Unfortunately, in the time we had to get set up and under way I was unable to do sound checks or troubleshoot and whereas my own audio was clear in the recording, Robin's came out on my recording garbled and barely comprehensible (problem on my side apparently, not his).

So I made Snaggit screen shots of the presentation and produced a 60-slide ppt show with annotations. This process helped me to consolidate what I had learned and was also done with intent to share. I then tried to upload my slides to http://www.slideshare.net but for some reason it wasn't working, so I used http://www.zoho.com instead. I was not perfectly pleased with the output. There were truncations in some of the slides; e.g. corruption of footer in all of them. But I'm at the end of time available on this effort and so without further ado, here's Robin (wait, further adooooo0000, I managed to upload to Slideshare and have replaced the file here and what I like better about Slideshare is that the links WORK - happy clicking):