EARCOS Teachers Conference – All over but the flight

I have a lot of random thoughts about the EARCOS Teacher’s Conference this year….so if these seem like disconnected ideas/ramblings/thoughts….it’s because they are. The first morning we were here, I picked up the Newspaper that was slipped under our door and flipped through it real quick. The front page had the Prime Minister of Malaysia talking about the general election that they just held here in Malaysia in which the people, according to the paper “acknowledged the unhappiness of the Malaysians” mostly around economic issues.” Now I don’t know enough about Malaysia to comment but what really struck me was a small article stuck at the bottom of the second page. I wouldn’t have even noticed it if it did not have the word Internet in the title, but I believe this short article copied below sums up a lot of what is happening in societies all over the world right now. Internet served a painful lesson Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Barisan Nasional lost the online war in the general election.“We didn’t think it was important. It was a serious misjudgment,” he said at the opening of Invest Malaysia 2008.“We thought that the newspapers, the print media, the television were important but young people were looking at text messages and blogs.”Abdullah said the influence of alternative media “was painful. But it came at the right time, not too late”.The web and SMS allowed parties like DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Pas, which have long complained of bias in the traditional media, to reach voters directly. What a great way to start the conference. I ended up using the article in two of my sessions to show that this stuff is for real and it’s affecting societies all around the world. It was a great way to show that this isn’t an educational issue, it is a global issue on how we communicate and how younger generations are very much dialed into this changing communication landscape. I did plan to Ustream all four of my sessions plus do two live podcasts over the three days. But the Internet connection that was set up with the help of ISKL was just not working very well, and worst off it didn’t reach into the room I was presenting in, so I didn’t have access for any of my sessions. Try doing a session on RSS and...

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