Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I am reading "The Metamorphosis" with my Intro to Lit students. It is one surly piece of work. And resonant for anyone who has had to recreate themselves or been involuntarily recreated by circumstance. We all wake up as insects at least once in our lives, helpless, leg-twitching, chitinous instinctoids driven by circumstance into our bughood.

Here's a copy of the e-text which I would like to annotate by voice for students.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Creating Passionate Users: One of us is smarter than all of us

Creating Passionate Users: One of us is smarter than all of us

The wisdom of crowds comes not from the consensus decision of the group, but from the aggregation of the ideas/thoughts/decisions of each individual in the group.

At its simplest form, it means that if you take a bunch of people and ask them (as individuals) to answer a question, the average of each of those individual answers will likely be better than if the group works together to come up with a single answer. And he has a ton of real examples (but you'll just have to read the book for them ; )


Need to read  James Surowiecki’s book The Wisdom of Crowds .  Combine this with Open Spaces meeting technologies, Appreciative Inquiry, the notion of “thin-slicing” in psychology, and the technologic innovation of connectivity with the web and I think what you have is a brand new classroom, one that needs a new name and a new taxonomy.  We could call it the folkschool. 

Extreme ESL

My ESL colleagues could get a real charge from this kind of technology.  It keys into their habits (text messaging, cell phones, picture phones). 

I'm really interested in learning more about how to use mobile phone technology with my students, as everyone of them has a phone with digital camera, email capability, and most with limited internet access. Some quick ideas:

  • I could record a 'good morning message' on Audacity and send it out to their mobile phones a few hours before class, seeding their minds with key vocab and questions to get them thinking. I could even give them the warm-up conversation exercise so that they are already speaking when I walk in the classroom.
  • Using their mobile phones, students take a weekly picture according a given theme, record a 30 sec message describing the picture and why they took it, and have them post to their blogs via telephone. I could then aggregate weekly thematic posts via RSS, link to Flickr tags, and have students find and comment on similar photos. I can't help but think of Rudolf's EFL Flickr project when I write that.
  • Once Skype gets hooked up on mobile phones, students could be assigned partners from abroad to chat with, completing some information gap type exercises, in addition to finding out more about cultural differences and similarities. Imagine free international telephone calls! We could even do real time scavenger hunts where the foriegn counterparts have all the clues and frequent telephone calls are necessary to complete the assignment. You could even get them using GPS technology. With the potential for free video streaming someday, perhaps our students can actually sit in their classrooms and walk into a real American diner and order a burger and fries....and not have to eat them!

apcampbell :

apcampbell :

apcampbell :

I mentioned earlier that compassion is a necessary condition in the teacher/student relationship for a movement toward learner autonomy to be possible, not to mention a healthy communicative learning environment. I then stated that 'creative visualization' practices could be helpful in bringing about compassion, something that Matt just asked me to explain.

A post near and congruent to my vision of classroom communion and communication.  Life is too short to leave it outside the schoolhouse door.  Bring it in and your students will know you as a real person.  One less obstacle to truth. 

Google Blog

Google Blog

Hey, gimme that camera,  I want to make a video to upload to google.  OK, videobloggers unite. 

KR Washington Bureau | 04/15/2005 | Bush administration eliminating 19-year-old international terrorism report

KR Washington Bureau | 04/15/2005 | Bush administration eliminating 19-year-old international terrorism report

Bush administration eliminating 19-year-old international terrorism report

If the truth is gummed up by the facts, get rid of the facts. Classic Himler technique.  Way to go Condi.  You are right up there with the best of them. 

American DialectTest

This is fun, but I am uncertain as to its accuracy.  As a tool to get people to consider the roots of language you can’t beat it.

I am:

 65% General American English

25% Dixie

10% Yankee

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

<table width=400 align=center border=1 bordercolor=black cellspacing=0 cellpadding=2>
<tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#A8FFB3">
<h3>Your Linguistic Profile:</h3>