Sunday, March 29, 2009

TESOL 2009

Back from Denver, I can tell you that all three presentations happened, were good, and ran out of handouts. I had made quite a few, but knowing that I had brought them home in previous years, that two were on Saturday and one at 7 am, I made only as many as I expected given the "expected size." We were overwhelmed! I'll get them online a.s.a.p.

Leverett, T. & Hunt, E. (2009, March). Technology as aid, crutch and impediment. Discussion, SL Writing IS, TESOL Convention, Denver CO USA.

Leverett, T. & Wright, H. (2009, March). Error correction frontier: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Discussion, SL Writing IS, TESOL Convention, Denver CO USA.

Leverett, T. (2009, March). Uncharted but breathtaking: Integrating chat into the writing class. Demonstration, SL Writing IS, TESOL Convention, Denver CO USA.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

embrace the backchannel

The article below stuck in my craw as I prepared to present about using computer chat in a writing class. The presentation is now in less than a week, and everything I've written about it is due to be published directly. But the article struck a chord in me, partly because I know that a twittering audience is a kind of challenge to authority, a statement that each and every participant has something to say, even if all they want to say is "this is boring" or "you are talking too much."

To embrace the backchannel would be to essentially say, I believe you have something to offer; in the event that it is a link or something you could show us on the web, we should all be connected so we can all experience it. In the event that it's a question, sure, you should be free to ask it orally, but that's true anyway. If you don't agree with what I'm saying, fine, put it down, I may need some time to chew on it before I answer, but, at least there's a record (via twitter)and we can all participate, indirectly, in the question.

This is said by someone, me, who is notorious for getting caught up in hearing my own voice and saying what I am trying to say. It's not that I'm unaware of the audience. It's more that I'm ADD, can only concentrate on a couple of things at a time, and my mind is racing as I try to stay on track. Twitter would give me another track, which could be a disaster, but could, also, be beneficial for the whole presentation.

I have always made a habit of backing up my presentations completely, entirely, on the web. They're public. But they don't have "comments" sections. Comments can go here, or, better yet, via Twitter, perhaps a running dialogue. My twitter has been fairly undeveloped; I'm a little new at it. I'm still chewing on the possibility...

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

thought for the day (a week from sat.)

Mitchell, O. (2009, Feb. 23).
How to present while people are twittering
. Posted by Tamar Weinberg on Pistachio.

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Monday, March 16, 2009


more stuff to read

Dawson, C. (2009, Mar. 12). Would you replace your e-mail system with a social network?. ZDNet Education. Accessed 3-09.

Kwoll, S. (2009, Mar. 11). Academic integrity lost on students. The Omega, Thompson Rivers Univ., Canada, Accessed 3-09.

Dawson, C. (2009, Mar. 12). Letting Twitter change the way we teach. ZDNet. Accessed 3-09.

boyd, d. (2009, Feb. 26). Social media is here to what? Accessed 3-09.

Whittaker, Z. (2009, Feb. 16). Has social 2.0 become too powerful? ZDNet.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

caught in the trolling nets of research

Fletcher, G. H. (2009, Feb. 25). Signs of a Significant Disruption in the Traditional Textbook Model, T.H.E. Journal. Accessed 3-09.

English, R. and Duncan-Howell, J. (2008, Dec.). Facebook© Goes to College: Using Social Networking Tools to Support Students Undertaking Teaching Practicum. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, MERLOT. Accessed 3-08.

Matus, R. (2009, Feb. 25). Will the art of language return? Death by e-mail blog. Accessed 3-09.

Baig, E. (2009, Feb. 19). How to make the most out of social networking on Facebook. USA Today. tp:// Accessed 3-09.

Bryant, A. (2009, Jan. 30). The hype about Skype. The Colonnade. Accessed 3-09.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

091 in the rearview mirror

I've been so derelict on my own weblogs, I've not only failed to point out the highlights of the term, but also failed to keep up in a lot of other pursuits. It's not that things aren't happening, they are...only that I'm so busy, I can hardly document it. Here are some highlights...

-TESOL '09 coming up, in Denver, and I'm barely prepared; haven't had much time to put into it. Scroll down the template to see what I've done; three things are coming, and I'd like to be a little better prepared for each...

-CESL blogs work their way up on Google, and in the process draw in more unusual visitors. This is partly because the eap2 blog won a prize and therefore a big link, a few terms back; it's drawn visitors and google thus found all of us & put us up a notch. People write on blogs like the US economic problems blog, which is outdated, about an entirely different economic problem, yet if it comes up on google, people will go there & find it.

-one of my favorite exchanges is here, where a student wrote about the Japanese education system, and the author found her, responded, and even included a letter from a third person. The topic at hand here is how English is taught in Japan, and it's very relevant, not only to the student and the career she's looking at, but also to various other people who find their way here. Another exchange happened in December as I was leaving for break, when a researcher found our papers about falcons; you meet some cool people writing in public, and putting ideas out on the table.

-much of the world continues to move over into Facebook; I try to keep up with it, and as a result get drawn into FB myself where I find increasingly more old friends who I love to have in my life again. A number of questions arise: what are the risks, for our students, for our program, to be all over main street? How can computer pop-art evolve to be totally useful in this venue? How has it transformed chat, if at all? And, will it implode under the weight of its own social transformation? Maybe I haven't worded my questions properly; at the moment, I'm in awe, and newspapers & the U.S. Postal Service are both due to collapse at any moment. My own FB bib suffering from neglect as an unweeded garden. But who needs it? The whole world is in the trees, twittering into their facebooks, and I here, on the ground, barely get in there to post a status. I enjoy the process, though. I see old friends who remind me of old times, connect me with the earlier eras of my experience. I also had my students write about facebook; most of their essays are posted on the now-famous eap2 weblog, but give a kind of panoramic view of their mixed feelings toward the changing social atmosphere...

Finally, on the home front, CESL classes are full; a diverse and interesting crowd continues to fill them up. And I'm always amazed at how, though people have to leave Carbondale eventually, they leave a part of themselves here, and pine for it, in their own way, at whatever faraway locale they end up in. My next job, publicizing an SIUC reunion in Denver at TESOL 2009, I'm going to remind people that CESL and SIUC continue to keep their image out there, remind people of SIUC's long and colorful history as a mainstay of the esl/efl world. Hang in there, SIUC: things keep changing, and as much as we complain, these could still be the good old days...

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