Friday, October 30, 2009

no irony intended

Acohido, B. (2009, Oct. 28). Unstoppable new phishing attacks blanket Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail. The Last Watchdog, Accessed 10-09.

Newgarden, K. (2009, Sept.). Annotated Bibliography- Twitter, social networking, and communities of practice. TESL-EJ 13, 2. Accessed 10-09.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Miranda's presentation

Ma, Sin I (Miranda). (2009, Oct. 27. Web-blogging in ESL writing: Weaving a class into a community. Saline Room, Student Center, SIUC. Based on class weblog at

Miranda's presentation was well-attended; the room held only about twenty, but there were people leaning on the wall behind the last row, so it was standing-room only and crowded. She had put her students in charge of making assignments and then basically turned them loose, allowing for a freer environment and lots of lively exchange. When asked whether it improved their more formal writing, she said that it did clearly make them more fluent; they write more and without worrying as much about the outcome. She was asked how they were graded, and how they were put in groups; she was asked if she gave corrective feedback in a public place. When she said that she had berated them a little for making so many typos, they complained that they didn't capitalize "I", for example, because they were used to typing on Word, which always did it for them. The weblog was therefore a rawer, more informal environment, and they just accepted that for what it was and wrote a lot. One teacher, L.H., even commented that the blog could thus be used to wean them from dependence on spell-check.

She was asked if a teacher who set up a blog had more of a burden, and she agreed that she did; but, she thought it was worth it. I don't include all her answers here because I didn't take very accurate notes. But, what interested me was that there was great interest from the community in what she did. People remained leaning on the walls throughout the presentation. Good job, Miranda!

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New Jersey

Leverett, T. (2009, Oct. 24) Integrating chat into the writing class. Invited talk, New Jersey Higher Education ESL Conference, Montclair State Univ., Montclair NJ.

This was essentially the same as my presentation at TESOL in Denver; I was asked, in Denver, if I could come to New Jersey to give it. New Jersey was stunning in its fall colors, and my hosts were generous and friendly. Teachers were eager and somewhat stunned to hear about both weblogs and chat; how could one really use these? But I showed them, and showed what we did. Also, although I welcomed the opportunity to have and use the "backchannel," there were no takers. ESL teachers don't, apparently, bring their hand-helds or twitters to conferences such as these.

The script this link opens up to is a rough draft of my talk, but it is connected to the rest of the presentation also. I would like to update it; I'm running out of time.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Arequipa, Peru

Leverett, T. (2009, Oct.) Reading strategies for teachers and students in the new millennium. Workshop, Oct. 5-10, Universidad Catolica de Santa Maria, Arequipa.

This workshop invited teachers from the Arequipa area and concentrated on methods of teaching reading, including ways of using new technology like weblogs and edmodo. We ended up discussing the Extensive Reading philosophy and how to incorporate its philosophy into various kinds of classes. For example, some teachers complained of having classes full of young teens, with very little motivation to read more than a sentence, or remember difficult vocabulary: what to do? Another problem: textbooks with exams lashed onto them, which students find boring or too dull. Can the teacher reach outside of those textbooks? Can the teacher support them and find material to feed into them, thus ensuring that their students do better on the crucial exams?

More on these topics later. If you wish, peruse the links or the edmodo that I set up; I would like to develop this later, soon in fact, but it may be the pinnacle of reading research that I accomplish for the time being.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

more on twitter & edmodo

Classroom 2.0. (2009, Sept. 15). Edmodo. Accessed 10-09.

Edmodo: Microblogging for the classroom. (2008, Sept. 2). Box of Tricks weblog. Accessed 10-09.

AcademHack. (2008, Jan. 23). Twitter for Academia. Accessed 10-09.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

some cool new stuff

Kennedy Manzo, K. (2009, Oct. 16). Twitter lessons in 140 characters or less. Education Week. Accessed 10-09.

Rusbridger, A. (2009, Oct. 14). The Trifigura fiasco tears up the textbook. Guardian Accessed 10-09.

Chen, S. (2009, Oct. 19). Facebook, Twitter users beware: Crooks are a mouse click away. Accessed 10-09.

The Young and the Digital. (2009, Oct. 15). Facebook activism. Accessed 10-09.

Barone, C. (2009). The New Academy. EduCause. Accessed 10-09.

more coming!

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