Wednesday, July 28, 2010

what's shaking

The complete and utter silence of this blog may be a disappointment if by any chance you have been relying on me to keep you up on educational technology, happenings at CESL, Facebook and its use by universities, etc. Most likely you have other sources, though, so I'm not losing sleep over this. The fact is, I've been taken up by personal problems and reorganization issues; on top of that, it's been very hot here and that tends to slow me down a bit. This blog will just have to be a bit sleepier; that's all. But here's a little of what really is going on behind the scenes:

reorganization: as you can see from the two links below, even replacing what used to be on the cesl web is complicated, depending on whether you publish a web page or a document, and since it's a large organizational problem, I thought I'd study it before I decide where to put volumes of my work. The time hasn't been there. Photos are an even larger issue. Most are going somewhere, but in an organized fashion? In a place where I can find them? I'm working on it.

language as a self-organized system: sorry to say, as you see below, I've only made part of my work (already 6-7 years old) available to daylight, and even that is not organized or truly accessible. I'm working on it.

The essence of the work is this: If language is a system that organizes itself, then it, like any similar system, has critical points at which its own dynamic changes by itself. Some of these critical points are perceptual. For example, when you decide that a certain word is a "default" word rather than a "specific situation" word, then you begin to use it in default situations and it has a firmer hold in a language. These points exist in people's conscious choice mechanisms; however, they can be measured, studied, and analyzed. The study of language change should ultimately account for this process. My writing will hopefully lay it out and define the terms.

making class movies: we made one about Facebook; it wasn't great, but I've kept the spirit going. I am not a world-class movie maker. I let the students run the editing machine, anyway. I could work on/improve upon this movie, but once again, time is an issue.

online materials: it occurred to me, while talking with webheads the other day, that it may be decades before I actually get some of my esl/efl materials online. I actually crank them out by the dozens, in daily production frenzies, and am quite good at the esl/intermediate genre which is difficult to manage. My collection is scattered on my desk and needs to be online where people can be using it. Once again it is a matter of organization which I have no time for. If I were, I could have an online esl factory; perhaps I should team up with webhead friends or put-online-type people who could simply make a place for this stuff. Why have I not done it yet? Not sure.

student weblogs: falling into disrepair, as we rely more on moodle; I need to keep student names on them, keep them from becoming too bulky or too long; keep good pictures coming. help!


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