I partner with organizations in helping to understand the changing nature of learning by working together in long-term, embedded professional development that prepares us all for our future, not our past.




let’s you post to Twitter and Jaiku at the same time. Not sure how this is different than setting Jaiku up to import your twitter feeds like I’ve already done…but a great way to see everyone on both networks.

Twitter Toolbox
Let’s you see who you’re friends are, who is following you and who you are following but are not you’re friends…all within a Firefox sidebar.

And my favorite find Twitterbin
A sidebar in Firefox that shows you all your twitts and you can post from within the tool as well. Works great might have to take the IM part off and just use this…the IM client keeps going down anyway.


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I feel sorry really for the 52 people that follow me on Twitter. Sometime Monday our Moodle installation decided that all the users are on a different server and it won’t allow anyone to login.

I’ve been twitting it since I started working on the problem 24 hours ago now. It’s been a great outlet for me as I know most of my twitter friends and followers are educational technology people that understand the frustrations when things all of a sudden break without warning.

The interesting part is some of my twitter friends have given me suggestions on things to try. Twitter as a support network…interesting concept.

Anyway…taking a break at the moment waiting for our hosting company to backup and then reinstall the April 28th backup of the database to see if that fixes it. If it does…I know the problem is in the DB if it doesn’t then the problem is somewhere in Moodle itself.

Cross your fingers for me as 1200 students and teachers wait to see if I can get this fixed ASAP.

[tags]twitter, moodle[/tags]

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On Deck
It’s been too long in between podcasts, but I did have a lot on my mind walking home on Tuesday. I work through some thoughts I had on my students and their teentek.com site, Twitter and what does it mean, and some amazing work from teachers. This Also spilt over into my post today for techlearning.com where I go even deeper into what teentek.com is doing and how it applies to students today. The post for teentek, basically came from my being able to think out loud in this podcast about what’s happening on the site. Hopefully you enjoy both.

[tags]twitter, teentek, teachers[/tags]

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I have found myself thinking recently on the future of language and the written word. Some of my thinking has been fueled by the conversation happening on the EME 5404 blog.

I’ve been struggling with the questions:

Who and when did we decide that our language was no longer going to change? That the evolution of language had stopped and that the way our language is right now is the way it should always be?

I don’t really know the history of the written word, but I do know that we as humans have been writing for thousands of years. Just from my own experiences in Israel, Jordan and the rest of the Middle East and Africa. We started by writing our stories in pictures, which was redefined over time by different cultures. Pictures led to symbols of which some cultures, like here in China, still use. Symbols led to the forming of an alphabet at some point, which has been redefined throughout the ages.

I’m not sure how it all happened, but I do know that I do not talk in the way in which Shakespeare writes. That there is something like five times as many words today as in Shakespeare’s time. The medium of which we write with and upon has also changed: From paint and brush, to stone and chisel, to ink and paper, to pencil and paper, to pen and paper, and now digital. As the medium has changed so has our language. The medium has allowed, and maybe even helped the evolution of our language.

Is the digital age redefining our language once again? I can’t help but look around at everyone text messaging, chatting, e-mailing, twittering, etc. and think that our language Is not changing. The cool part is this evolution happens on its own. This hit me again last night while I was watching my twitter messages and someone asked a question to their twitter friends. One of the friends responded:

@Dave: I do

Now…I’ve only been twittering for a couple of weeks, but who decided that when you wanted to direct a specific twitter message to one of your friends you used the @ symbol followed by their name? I looked for a twitter manual or a twitter language book and guess what….I couldn’t find one.

Communication in this day in age is about fast short messages. It started with e-mail and has slowly becoming quicker and shorter.

So this has me looking at the students walking out to the bus, the students walking the hallways and the 25 people I passed at the bus stop last night who were all text messaging on their phones (OK, maybe not all of them but I counted and it was 3 out of 5). This generation communicates in a very different way from the way I was taught, from the way I know how, and their way is much more efficient for their communication vehicles.
I am not saying we do not need to teach proper writing and English, but should we be teaching more than that? If we are preparing students for their future, should we be teaching them Instant Language (IL)? Let’s face it, as the pace of change continues to be exponential in nature the pace in which we communicate will continue to quicken as well.

This brings me to blogging and why I think blogging is more popular with our generation than with our students. Blogging is linear, you write in proper English. You write in complete sentences, words and thoughts. It speaks to us, we understand it, we like it; we know how to communicate in this way. My students struggle with blogging. They struggle with having to use so many words to get their message out there. I mean why right “Dave in response to your question, I do as well” when you can write “@Dave: I do?”

I almost feel like we are trying to force a round peg in a square whole. That we continue to force students to learn a way of writing, a language that is not suitable for today’s writing medium. Take myspace.com, very few well thought out posts. Alternatively, review an IM Chat session from someone in his or her teens, or just spend 10 minutes with your friends on twitter. What skills should we be teaching our students in Language Arts? The real question that keeps nagging at me is who is going to teach them to write in this new way? I sure the heck couldn’t teach it, and I’d bet most English teachers would slap me if I told them they need to teach IL in their classrooms.

By only teaching students to write “properly” (whatever that means), are we preparing them for our past, or their future? At what point do we stop yelling at students to write properly and embrace the evolution of the written word?

[tags]languages, 21st Century Learning, twitter[/tags]

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I haven’t had time to do a lot of blog reading lately, hence the 900 unread feeds on my netvibes page….ug. I have however been playing with a couple of new tools…well, new to me anyway.
Twitter.com I don’t get twitter. Really I don’t. My wife just keeps saying “This is so stupid” which pretty much sums it up. But for some reason, it is so much fun. My mobile phone doesn’t work here from China so I’m using the IM feature that allows me to post to twitter directly from Google Talk, although twitter seems to be having problems with the IM feature of late, so I’ve been stuck posting directly on my twitter page. I do like the IM feature when it’s working though as it gives me updates when the people I follow post something to their twitter account. Frankly, I’m loving it…it’s a great way to keep in touch with people you know and have a look into how their day operates. The most interesting part to me is the time difference. I post I’m eating dinner and Tim Lauer posts he’s driving to work. So even though it’s stupid it is quite fun.

Google Notebook I’ve finally had a play with Google Notebook and LOVE IT! It’s one of those tools I’ve been wanting to explore, but needed the reason to do so. While I’ve been researching and putting together my presentations for EARCOS, I’ve used Google Notebook to keep track of my notes on the web, highlight and save, stats, and other facts to use in my presentation. I then simply share my notes with the public and paste the link into my online handouts. No need to recopy all the information into a wiki or onto a page. I just have a link to my notes….a great feature and one that I can see students using in the classroom. It almost makes researching fun…..almost!

EARCOS Everything is pretty much set for EARCOS. Still working on my presentations, but then again with information changing so fast, I’ll probably be working on it until I present. Every time I think I’m done, something new comes up I want to add. I’m looking forward to meeting Ian Jukes and Doug Johnson at the conference. Two great guys who inspire me on a daily basis. I’m also looking forward to meeting others that I’ve had contact with. The Technology team at the International School of Bangkok should be around, as well as others from the International School of Beijing, Japan, and a host of other International schools. It should be fun.

[tags]earcos07, Google Notebook, Twitter[/tags]

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