Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This post was written as a mirror blogging - from inside Facebook

Mirror blog is a widget for facebook that allows me to combine my blogspot blog and Facebook. The editor is really primitive HTML which means I would rather blog the other way round. But at least the fact this can be done, is one more shortcut to help integrating my multiple online footprints. I'm already having another mirror blog widget used for my eduspaces blog. So - this makes two of a kind, and an eventual comparison opportunity.

PS making a late typo correction - from Blogspot this time - will see if this also has impact seem from Facebook.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Web 2.0 librarians in Norway

at Bibliotekssentralen in Oslo, Niels Damgaard runs an intensive web 2.0 workshop for librarians all over Norway. They can choose to pay for one or more sessions, up to ten in one year. For the last of these sessions, I was invited this Monday to speak about The social and collegial learning environment in the electronic village online, in a synchronous online session. As these courses are made for money, the content is protected and I am not allowed to share the wikispace and the recorded slides with my speak and the final discussion with Niels). We talked about the cascade effect developed over the years by Webheads, and how the good blend of old and new citizens in the electronic village helps to develop a true community of practice where novices and less experienced can benefit from the rich tradtion for knowledge sharing and collabroation experiments, and how those who are really showing their enthusiast energy, can advance and take more responsibilities as co-moderators with access to peer mentoring and hands on practicum. This all happened in my first language, Danish, and as Norwegian is our next neighbour language and country, I suppose that the participants were able to understand my words, written as well as spoken. At least they did not ask for any clarification, but I was also warned on beforehand, that this was their after lunch lesson and that they would probably be quite silent. Oh - and one more thing that we also talked about was how to reach the critical mass of participants in the online context where lurking is such a well known fact; for 10 visibly active heads you would usually expect to find 90 silent peripheral participants who are just reaing along and learning by vicarious observation, or not.

We can't know for sure - not until they may decide for delurking. But that's another story, which I forgot to mention as we ran short of time, so the frequent case of delurkers popping up into the open community space did not paint the picture in my presentation this time, just a memo to self about the paper that I'm preparing as a result from this session.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Scrapblog - a free collage tool with great potential

This is my Scrapblog portfolio workspace - not yet finished but really engaging and fun.

Monday, March 03, 2008

5 webheads won scholarships for the CALL 08 conference in Japan

Out of more than one hundred applicants (from low income parts of the world), about a dozen active CALL practitioners were awarded a grant to travel to a world conference on CALL in Japan. And, seven of these are good Webheads! Congratulations to Hala Fawzi in Sudan, to Erika in Brazil, Nelba Quintana and Jennifer Verschoor in Argentina, Evelyn Izquierdo, Venezuela, Nina Lyulkun from Ukraine and Susan Marandi from Iran. (the others are names unknown to me, coming from India, Indonesia, China, Egypt and Turkey).

The criteria were
# People who have been active in CALL (not just language pedagogy or administration) as evidenced by recent publications, presentations or on-going projects.
# People who exhibited in their "Statements of Purpose" a clear goal for their attendance at WorldCALL 2008 and a plan to disseminate the knowledge so gained upon their return home.
# People who represent a wide spectrum of geographical areas, balanced by gender and years of experience. Geographical selection was also, to some extent, determined in proportion to the number of applications from that area of the world.

I feel sure that we will have the pleasure to learn more about their presentations, their experiences and some lively stories about their face to face get-together, which is a special Webheads treat.

I'm thinking of paying these fine teachers my tribute, by sharing this good news with a group of web 2.0 librarians from Norway who will learn about Webheads & the Electronic Village online for my session tomorrow - but that's another story.

Graduation party for BAW 08 was a blast

Every year, the Electronic Village Online runs for six weeks, giving language educators and knowledge workers the opportunity to meet and collaborate online with various themes in the Web 2.0 learing field. Facilitators work as volunteers, and many of those who started as participants would continue year after year with more responsibilities.
Becoming a Webhead is the name of one of these intensive workshops. The true leaders are still Teresa d'Eca (in Porugal) and Dafne Gonzales (in Venezuela)I was part of the co-moderator team back in 2004, so I know how intense and rewarding the pace of this kind of curriculum could be for whose who are working back stage. This year about ten oldtimers were ready to jump in and share what they already learnt in earlier years, plus caring as mentors for those who are asking for help, attention or just reporting some work doneback to their community.

A recurrent event is the fun and informal graduation party taking place all online on the last Sunday of the workshop. Those who can spare an hour or wven two, would come to the chat room, listen to the Skype conference and hope for an invitation to come in and say something by voice. Up to this event, participants send in their gifts, like postcards or small multimedia spots, blog posts, wikis or voice recordings, with images of party food, their hometown, or whatever they have to share.
Dafne had prepared a Thank you show on Splashcast, with images and her spoken evaluation of this year's Becoming a Webhead class, and also with some flashbacks to past years. All of the Graduation party gifts were collected in one Wiki here