miércoles, noviembre 30, 2005

Representation of self as critical ethnography 

Surfing I also find of great interest the effort documented at Who's afraid of the big, bad blog? to encourage blogging and establishing criteria for success. In this article a list of "blogging principles" sets the tone for IBM's encouragement to its employees to blog.

We need to do the same, we need to set the tone towards the use of blogs as tools for credible information in which information is published worth citing. The academic value of blogs most be accounted. So in essence, much like an ethnography... blogs allow for the advancement of a knowledge base from its emerging form and function. Likewise it is for us opportune to resolve the subjective and critical nature of our examination. An for that matter the need to spouse "critical ethnography" as the theory and the method of reflection.

More to come, as I read Soyini (2005) Critical Ethnography: Method, Ethics, And Performance. CA: Sage Publications

I will leave a quote from her book about the "positionality" of the ethnographer who "feels the moral obligation to make a contribution toward changing those conditions (of suffering) toward greater freedom and equity. The critical ethnographer also takes us beneath surface appearances, disrupts the status quo, and unsettles both neutrality and taken-for-granted assumptions by bringing to light underlying and obscure operations of power and control." (p.5)

This is of interest as we look at blogs as context, as an online environment offering a rich and deep layer of knowledge. As voices emanate online, a dialogic, critical ethnography offers in dialogue a movement "from ethnographic present to ethnographic presence by opening the passageways for readers and audiences to experience and grasp the partial presence of a temporal conversation constituted by the Other's voice, body, history, and yearnings. This conversation with the Other, brought forth through dialogue, reveals itself as a lively, changing being through time and no longer an artifact captured in the ethnographer's monologue, immobile and forever stagnant." (p10).

So blogging we must risk showing our self in representing our presence critically, with purpose.

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domingo, noviembre 27, 2005

Nominations Wanted 

Nominations are being accepted until the 4th of December for The Edublog Awards 2005. Only current edubloggers (those who have a blog with posts about education) can nominate blogs to be part of the vote.

I quickly nominated Renata's "Getting There" blog (http://grankageva.blogspot.com/) for two categories:

1. Best teachers blog and 2. Best example/case study of use of weblogs within teaching and learning

You can go witness the amazing job she has held in sharing her reflection about teaching English in Japan. Her blog meets both criterias because it is not only a teacher's blog, but an amazing systematic representation of her teaching as a conduit for motivation and peer learning... kept for over a year now.

To nominate her blog you need to go to http://incsub.org/awards/the-edublog-awards-2005/ and copy a templet which you are then to e-mail to 2005awards@googlemail.com

The contest is both at the nomination and voting stages since only the four most popular nominations will become the nominated entries for vote between the 5th and 17th of December.

So while at it I also nominated this blog.... http://lajaulavira.blogspot.com/ for "Best individual blog". And here I am thinking....this business of nominating requires tenacity!

And hey, why not? I am an individual, and this IS a blog... so of course this is the Best Individual Blog!

So with your help, we will achieve 3 winning nominations:

1. Best teachers blog: http://grankageva.blogspot.com/

2. Best example/case study of use of weblogs within teaching and learning: http://grankageva.blogspot.com/

3. Best Individual Blog: http://lajaulavira.blogspot.com/

There you go!

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viernes, noviembre 25, 2005

Our paper is now published ! 

Harmonics Online –The Blended Learning Classroom

García, K.; Suzuki, R. and Molero, D. (2005). “Harmonics Online: The Blended Learning Classroom”. International Council for Open and Distance Education Conference (ICDE)- Puerto Rico 2005. Retrieved from Web site: http://www.econ.uba.ar/www/icde/publicaciones/trabajos_region/trabajos_pr2005.htm

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lunes, noviembre 21, 2005

Marking a presence at WiA Convergence 2005 

Feeling satisfied and appreciative of those who came to Learning Times last Friday and Saturday (my time) to hear two presentations that Renata and I prepared for the ocassion.

We first spoke about "blogging out", going beyond reflection in the use of blogs for teacher development. There is so much there to contemplate.... Renata's seminal work keeps evolving as we move into issues of self-disclosure, privacy, risk taking and critical pedagogy for empowerment.

On the second presentation we spoke about virtual communities and how because of the online nature of the interaction the context could be conducive to the development of cults instead of truly multicultural environments. We focused on the participant's sense of vision for the group and we moved towards a group's mission. It was fun to review the history of the group in a timeline and to project memories into a time capsule.

The program read:

Threads of Reflection: Teacher Blogs in Action
Presenters: Renata Suzuki (Yokohama, Japan ) and Karen García (MA, United States )

Abstract: This roundtable advances the use of reflective teacher blogs beyond narratives of teacher experience to focus on interactive classroom management modes based on an expanded 'blog-classroom loop' (Suzuki,2004, http://www.kyoto-su.ac.jp/information/tesl-ej/ej29/int.html ) feedback model that includes students. A case-study serves as the basis for exploration and discussion. Participants will learn about teacher blogs as extended support networks in the classroom and beyond.

The webcast is available at Learningtimes press here to get there.

We got nice reviews! Thank you Graham for your posting at Blog-efl.... take a look :

"I also attended the sessions on:

'Teacher blogs in action' by Renata Suzuki and Karen Garcia (again available to listen to at Learning Times). This was an extremely interesting presentation, which turned into a stimulating debate about various aspects of blogging."-- Hats of to WiAOC

Making a time capsule with the webhead's vision and mission on this first convergence. Presenters: Karen García (MA,United States ) and Renata Suzuki (Yokohama, Japan)

Abstract: As we meet for our first "webheads convergence” we face a significant mark in our timeline worth documenting. Our first formal meeting offers a significant opportunity for us to reflect about who we are as an organization, a Community of Practice. This forum and live conversation will offer all participants a place to leave a statement about who we are, learn about each other and help formulate where we are leading in the time to come.

The webcast is available at Learningtimes press here to get there.

A pdf file with the convergence's "playbill" is available here (from the convergence's Moodle), and recordings from the activities sessions can be accessed at links here. An amazing activity!

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martes, noviembre 15, 2005

Looking at profiles I noticed that 

Nicky was visiting the region just north of me a few miles. So I contacted her and
was soooo fortunate to meet right here in Amherst with her daughter just
before they returned to Spain. And we recorded the occasion! So the moral of the
story is..... get your message across when you post cause people do listen. What
a treat!

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viernes, noviembre 11, 2005

the illusion of a vision 

had an interesting conversation today.... nothing new... the good old conversation about decision making processes and the illusion of consensus...

I am always amazed to experience how people in power shield themselves in belief that their influence is consensus.... like really, if it was consensus, the process would have involved me! so consensus without my participation is what?

yes, I am a phantom, the invisible man... ahhh the culture of silence strikes again...

so the interaction goes like.... this is consensus (involving some people), and the illusion of it just the same as the vision and mission discussion that I want to hold in the virtual conference I am told.

Now hold it!

illusion as a vision .... a mirage? Now that is an image!

So since words have a meaning, I will consult my good old thesaurus....

Main Entry: illusion
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: impression
apparition, bubble, chimera, confusion, daydream, deception, deja vu, delusion, error, fallacy, false impression, fancy, fantasy, fool's paradise, ghost, hallucination, head trip, hocus-pocus, idolism, ignis fatuus, image, invention, make-believe, mirage, misapprehension, misbelief, misconception, misimpression, mockery, myth, optical illusion, paramnesia, phantasm, pipe dream, rainbow, seeming, semblance, semblance, trip, will-o'-the-wisp
Antonyms: reality
Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: vision
Part of Speech: noun 2
Definition: image
angle, aspect, astuteness, concept, conception, daydream, discernment, divination, dream, facet, fancy, fantasy, farsightedness, foreknowledge, foresight, head trip, idea, ideal, ideality, imagination, insight, intuition, keenness, mental picture, muse, nightmare, outlook, penetration, perspective, phantasm, pipe dream, prescience, retrospect, slant, standpoint, trip, understanding, view
Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main Entry: mission
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: task
aim, assignment, business, calling, charge, commission, duty, end, errand, goal, job, lifework, object, objective, office, operation, profession, purpose, pursuit, quest, responsibility, sortie, trade, trust, undertaking, vocation, work
Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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jueves, noviembre 10, 2005

A book presentation 

Nothing new, abuse as a prevalent feature in society. What was revolutionary was to understand it as being part of culture.

A great document, nicely done! Lisa is really making a significant contribution to the human services with this book.

Fontes, L. (2005). Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families. New York: Guilford Press.

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martes, noviembre 08, 2005

Here again, blogging....about silence 

and noticing how this act of reflection and voice is quite controversial. Expected of course since the idea of a voice without control is a fundamental challenge to hegemonic social order. So while my expression of thought, doubt, senses, ideas and "passions" is liberating, its impact on the audience abstract and unknown. Imaginable but fiction. That is, devoid of feedback and/or comments here I can go in a ramble for the sake of my expression. But the external judgment and consequence of my voice is somewhat speculative and predictable in the "scheme of things"... in the order of discrimination and oppression. That is, how do I control my expression according to my expected resulting regulating response to my voice. So regulating my expression... "censoring", has become a guiding principle in my interaction. Yes, a silencing function. So why blog, and for whose benefit?

That is, what is the benefit of blogging since the media keeps documenting the dire consequences of blogging in the academy. If you look at a previous post here:..... you can witness the effect blogging might have on the hiring of faculty. This consequence is again presented in a newspaper article today "Blogging Prof Fails To Heed His Own Advice" at the New York Sun. I must admit, this impending consequence has an impact on my own blogging. I won't go into details of the arguments presented in that article... only of my understanding that blogging is as much research as any other. The issue becomes making the "procedure", "results" and/or "outcomes" valuable and desirable in academic circles. And I think gaining academic value in blogging is inevitable. Let's review the value of ethnographies and apply the same function to blogs.

What impact on my blogging does the threat of a consequence has? Well mostly whatever the review of the dynamics of silence and liberation would bear. (noticing that a spell checker would be nice here).... In addition to expression, blogging is a skill demanding language competence and moral maturity. It is interesting to view this whole issue of morality, attitudes and motivation in cyberspace. Of course going into definitions always helps, but for the moment I will accept the stance of morality as consideration of "the other" that being the witness of these words--- (or "potential witness" as I greet robots landing in this page). The question remaining how to ensue a dialog... that being the main attitude... intention of transcending an establish thought and evolving into yet new realms of "communion", understanding. And here we could go into the benefits of my having "MY" voice instead of "OURS"... yes, I am getting cryptic here. You might say RSS feeds are a way to gain the “joined voice”… I don’t know…. I still think the reciprocal conversation is key.

So in that note I will end this entry. With the acknowledgment that small snippets of thought could be conducive to a “reply/comment” and hopefully dialogue. What do you think?

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martes, noviembre 01, 2005

Back from UDEM "Universidad de Monterrey en Mexico" 

Considering a post as faculty at the Psychology Department. An interesting proposition to change all schemes and inmerse myself in teaching at an undergraduate program. I am giving it serious thought.

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