martes, enero 31, 2006


I've been making reference to issues raised in a webcast at Learning Times where James Farmer was a guest speaker as part of Evonline's blog06 · COLLABORATIVE BLOGGING IN ESL/EFL workshop.

There we met for an hour trying to decipher Farmer's voice-- literally. Don't ask me how problems with audio happen, but they happen... and also having people from the whole world meeting in a virtual room brings issues of interpretation about the use of words. Yes, I wondered about the meaning of the word insubordination, conversation vs. reflection and brass....

But more importantly is how we give opinions as facts, and then they are quoted as being that... that is a serious event which needs to be corrected.

Ok, so we need to review our research skills, learn to operationalize, and test for hypotheses and then speak with truth. Otherwise, we remain in the dark ages, no matter what we do with our brains! When I asked for evidence and support to the speakers conclusions (about blogs not working as tools for collaboration) I was directed to a publication and here is the link

You can also go to Learning Times and access the archived webcast recording.

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domingo, enero 29, 2006

Renaissance Soul is what it now is called 

My mother called it jack of all trades and master of none.... and she also believed in the survival of the fittest. I call it being multidisciplinarian, being a generalist... constantly brainstorming and a multitasker par excellance! About the survival issue, I think there is the luck of the draw too.

But no, these are the add's and hiperactive, non-commital beings who are very creative and encounter great difficulty in finishig anything.

But Margaret Lobenstine here did manage to finish writing her book and I was most lucky to be in a friend's house when the first copy was delivered to her. I became most interested in the process and hopeful to publish my own. We struck a bartering deal and perhaps we can coach each other. She can help me see my book done, and I can help her develop her coaching online.

Not that she need much coaching.... her webpage "to get unstuck" is a wealth of material. And her book is a feel good book. Must take some time out of my busy doing a bit of everything schedule to review the copy she gave me.

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sábado, enero 28, 2006

Going all out building links 

hankso I finally inserted a bloglines blogroll here. For the readers benefit because I have set my bloglines feed as my homepage. It remains to be seen how long that lasts. But for now it is interesting to see the patterns in the feeds pertaining to the activity levels of the sources as well as the number of subscribers that the sources have. At that point you can see the links that those in turn have, and the sources increase exponentially! and there goes the bottleneck. Who is the world can catch up with all the information???

In addition to my habit of grabing links and placing them in bookmarks, I've gone wild just blogging the links into the bloglines blog... thinking that for an information economy, that source works best because of its ease of posting. I tried to do the same here with the blogthis option in the top and have ended sending the entry to a different blog... so no go with that approach.

So today I moved forward in creating links with those folks who have either subscribed to this blog publicly or whose interest might develop into an open "conversation" to coin James Farmer's term.... to see if it happens. Or if me, myself and I wil remain in a bottleneck cheered at times by a few friends passing bye. HEY, I am not knocking it! Thank you for the wonderful comments.

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viernes, enero 27, 2006

There used to be a time when having a webpage was presence enough, nowadays you have to have your own server. 

I've been tempted before to spend energy and resources doing just that. But have been convinced that with the attack from unwanted media, robots, viruses, hackers and the like it is best to have experts do the job. I am torn. The scope of the projects that I want to develop require the ability to install the software and nurture humanity for interaction and collaboration. The nurturing requires resources. Sounds like an empty record.

I've been speaking with folks about the development of communities of practice and in those discussions revisited my urgent belief that if we don't address the utopian concept of building a just world, there is no sense in having a brain and being civilized.

The saying: "if there is a will, there is a way", becomes create the vision and the energy will follow.... "energy follows thought".

What will it take for me to dare visualize, conceptualize and publicly interpret my sense of utopia?

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miércoles, enero 25, 2006

me, myself and I in reflection I think 

although conversation would be nice. Every now and then I get surprised by a comment here and there, thanks to those daring visitors. I've thought about how to make this place more of a conversation, and remain puzzled by that thought.

Not that I think it impossible, on the contrary... desirable and wanted. But lately I've been hesitant to burst into communicating, mostly because of needing to find the "right" tone of voice.

There is the intellectual, academic, objective and pedantic use of words that would give authoritative messages... or the tentative, apprehensive words tip toeing not to make waves. And then to break the chains of dichotomy, I could just move on happily into conversation between me, myself and I and still call it reflection.

All of this to summarize my day. Yes, done with the review of messages addressing the issues related to drama and language teaching... and finding it interesting that the difference between public speaking and acting is the masking of self behind some character.... and in the just-in-time workshop looking for hints about how participants in a course could become involved in the creation of the syllabus. And then in the blog's session at Learning Times agreeing with Farmer's assertion that blogs are not really instruments for collaboration. However his reliance on rss feeds for such purposes are questionable, since they are bottlenecks to me.

An hourglass is the solution, to pass the narrow point and expand into interaction, new ideas and exploration... sounds good... reflection, conversation and exploration. good enough for now, done for the day!

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martes, enero 24, 2006

Innovation in midst of... resistance to change. 

Seems contradictory, and it is. But hey, what else is new.

Here I am on my third year participating in the Evonline seminars which so dutifully the virtual colleagues put together online for the L2 instructors of the world. It is nice to witness my own comfort with the technology both of online teaching as well as about the teaching of English. Not that I am a language instructor, cause I am not, but by association with them beings I have managed to tackle issues I've been avoiding..... as in: ta ra ra raaaaaaaa!!!! "... the function of language on culture". But more on the function of language later -- much later actually.

Now I want to capture my wonder about the prevalent use of Yahoo groups as the preferred medium for the communication of hundreds... no thousands of messages. It is soooo amazing that with the sophistication about onlline tools for instruction this group of people have they choose to perpetuate the lineal and non-categorized use of an e-mail list for online training.

This ritualistic use of a list serve seems to have a form of it own, an archaic use of traditional structures... much like the maintenance of primitive means for the maintenance of "the familiar". Nothing, that forums would allow for organized threads, and learning environments would allow for a contained depository of information and resources which is available at the OpenSourcED server and in other private servers, for that matter, but instead the information is deposited in YAHOO. ????

Unbelievable! I guess there are people still using typewriters and white out... and pens and pencil for that matter.

I am also concerned about leaving the information and content in servers owned by strangers. Not only do I have difficulty in just leaving my work in public spaces and in servers.... yes yes, blogger is one of such....but the possibility of loosing all this information. The possibility of the owners choosing to lock the portal is always there! The same threat is true with all my emails kept at yahoo. How could all of this be backed up?

How could TESOL, the sponsoring organization rely on YAHOO for archiving the dynamics taking place in the workshops? I cannot understand that.

So in addition to the technical issues of use and access of information I am very much enjoying the challenge offered by the sense of overwhelm, overload and inspiration from reading the communications shared in the workshops. Enough for tonite, I will make it a point to keep my postings short and snappy.

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jueves, enero 19, 2006

Between comings and goings 

cause, yes I've wanted to blog all these days....

I noticed again a short film in the Sundance Channel. It is a collage of media, animation, still pictures and film "About Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness".

I managed to jot down their web page address: lifeliberty.net which lead to The Filmconnection.org. From that site people in the USA can borrow films to show in groups. I like the fact that through film and discussion social action could take place. Actually, I would like to see social action happening here through blogging, but, I don't know how strong can my voice and this medium get.

The list of films there at The Filmconnection.org is truly amazing, and the short film on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness worth seeing.... perhaps a cyber version would someday appear.....

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viernes, enero 06, 2006


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martes, enero 03, 2006

about war and peace 

I have purposely stayed away from mainstream media here in good old USA but every now and then I come into contact with information that offers me the opportunity to take care of my remorse from the inertia, the doing nothing about the war that this country is waging against terrorism.

A friend sent me an article written by the local historian Howard Zinn called: “After This War” published today in ZNet. His convincing statements about how the war just has to stop brings forth the motivation for me to look for ways to act. And writing about it here is just one way….. wondering how by the acknowledgement of an awareness of a solid front from all of us we can turn around patterns in history and eliminate war from the face of earth! It just has to stop!

Right! So it is for us citizens to resist the path of war… and as he says “turn the human race onto a path of health and healing” drop by drop…

The article is worth the read, the source offers interesting publications …. And althought I have posted here my concern, I still wonder what else we can do to abolish war in this civilized world.

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