Thursday, September 29, 2011

Space to think...

Space to think, vital space, head space.

This is it, they can't damn this flow. The English course, an Indian summer, there we were, sitting on the grass, the concrete walls of the institution, vaguely irrelevant. It was impossible to feel anything other than free. The students were standing, others walking, some lounging, chatting, reflecting on their personal projects.

I am sitting on a sofa at home, drinking coffee, writing this. Is this my work? Not sure what it is, but it appears necessary.

Yesterday I went to pick up my daughter at the creche. I looked around at the play space. Lovely bright colours, hand painting on the walls, boxes full of toys, little kids moving freely, busily building their real, imaginary worlds.

I rushed off this evening to the parent teacher meeting at my son's school. I sat facing uncomfortably front at an adult designed child-sized desk. I gazed anxiously at the lists of homework, the shelved exercise books and the high set windows.  Outside, the kids were kneeling on the playground tarmac, playing with their Bayblades.

I got my finger stuck in a metallic chair once. The more that I struggled, the more that it swelled up and made its release unlikely. It was in a German class with the man who would successfully convince me that German was not for me. I remember nothing more about his class.

With a lot of tugging, a sizeable pat of butter and no little pain, I was freed. From that day on, I was the undesirable element.

One afternoon, to my considerable pleasure, he excluded me from his class.  I went off to my study and ate toast. Perhaps the best piece of toast I ever remember eating.

Dormitory, library, lavatory.
Sleeping in a room with thirteen co-detainees left little space for privacy. Showering was communal, baths shared, adolescent angst barely hid. Escape was a common subject of discussion at my school. Tales were told of the three boys who managed to get as far as Preston. We only got as far as Blackpool ice-rink. We bribed the monitors.  I didn't like ice-skating, I couldn't care less.

Peace, on week days, was a lavatory cubicle.  Sundays,  I squatted a corner of the library behind the magazine rack. In times of stress, I continue to find comfort in plastic bound glossies and anonymous silence.

Four walls and a door
Let's just close the door, so nobody can hear what I have to say.

Why do we insist on sitting people down on chairs to learn? How much do other people's spaces condition our behaviour? Would we want other people to choose our furniture for us?  Why do prisons and some schools have high-set windows? What has learning got to do with facing front? Aren't we missing something if we only look in one direction? What is it about libraries and comfort? Should the bell at the end of the school day be a release?

Banksy mural 
Photo PaternitéPas d'utilisation commercialePas de modification Certains droits réservés par walker cleavelands 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Diving for pearls? (they're all cultured now)

Before the beginning of the 20th century, the only means of obtaining pearls was by manually gathering very large numbers of pearl oysters from the ocean floor, (or lake or river bottom). The bivalves were then brought to the surface, opened, and their tissues searched. More than a ton were searched in order to find at least 3-4 quality pearls..

Bored yet? Not to your fancy? I give up!  No, I didn't write that introduction, I know nothing about all of this; I cribbed it off Wikipedia, and here's the photo to prove it:

Now I don't know about you, but I hate wasting my time reinventing the wheel, searching for that link...(yawn) somewhere on page 46 of a Google search. After all that effort, when you have found that rare pearl, there is a temptation to hide it away, with your precious favourites, or to show it off proudly at meetings to less well endowed colleagues.

- Look what I know, aren't I a clever clogs me?

- No actually, he found it on the internet...on his phone.

Another tempting lure for us learners is to copy and paste the content from the oyster which is our world (wide web) and to pretend it's our work. Never done that? Of course not; we are pearly whiter than white (unlike those poaching students).

So in this age of collaboratively cultured pearls (thank you Wikipedia!) it is getting easier and easier to find stuff to learn and to copy, to make us seem really bright. Yes, it does help if you know the right type of mollusc which interests you, something about its natural habitat, and even where the other expert pearl divers or farmers hang out....

All these points I will return to, but for now, let us just cast our gaze across the ocean which is the internet and reflect........

All done? OK let's go on.

No question, our apprentice fishers will need to learn how to search effectively, how to work together and where to find friendly experts to save their precious time. Joyous with a successful trawl, they will need to know how and where to share their find(ings) and/or how to transform it/them into culturally valuable individual works of art/science/cuisine etc.In this way, they themselves might become recognised one day as unique...

Knowledge, it is safe to say, does grow on trees.

I have a particular fishing tool that I would like to share with you today. It  works in  net browsers, in and out of Twitter, it enables you to organise your links with tags in organic coral-like structures, and makes your diving or culturing work available to all by embed, by mail or by inviting others to join in the fun.  Want a shift of paradigm? You are not alone in our ecosystem! By clicking on the little pearl,you can even fish as a team, err, as a school...of fish, together, in the high seas.

Here it is, take it all, take a single pearl... my colleague did this afternoon. Here is my priceless tree just below. I confess that it is not all my own work.

Learning to learn et Language learning social networks / Search dans sensor63 (sensor63)

I shall be teaching my students how to fish the net together very soon. It will save my breath.  Why should I dive so often at my age? The kids can do it.

Original Photo Credit for pearl diver :Kuwaitsoccer

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Settling old sores.

My son's football team lost this afternoon.

To be honest, they were whipped, pasted, buried, truly humbled 6-0, 6-0, 4-0, 3-0...

It was a dash to their young egos. Unfortunately, the expected transfers to Barcelona might not be on the cards this season, certainly not before the next mercato..

If the kids were taught a lesson today, so was I, by their young team coach.

He sat them down, as their heads dropped in disappointment and complimented them on their willingness to run and to play. "Don't worry," he said, "this is your first year, we'll work on it in training." "Your goal-keeping showed bravery," he said to my son. "Today, I just want to show you one thing," "Look.." and he picked them up and showed them just one new technique to work on. "There's no point me telling you everything you did wrong because you won't remember it and you won't go out and enjoy yourselves," he concluded.

They brushed themselves off, got up and lost their last match 2-0.

I am often struck by the parallels between learning a language and learning to play a sport. It takes years of practice to develop the skills required to compete. If you don't enjoy a sport, you will never have the motivation to put in the hours of training. If you don't have intrinsic motivation to listen and to read and to speak and to write you won't get very far in your acquisition of a language. Failure and mistakes are an inevitable part of learning and are essential to success. Michael Jordan's failure went on to become part of his Nike enhanced myth.

Failure, here in France, is unfashionnable; competence, quality, control is projected everywhere. 'Competent' teachers feel it a quasi duty to underline in red ink everything which is incorrect. The kids are often battered and bruised into silence and shame at their incompetence. Work, homework, is serious stuff, exercises unquestionnably given and children driven to unquestion.

Rewards, marks, averages and scores are settled in the educational psyche. Would it not be time to wonder if our time might be better spent?

I would recommend reading Daniel Pink's Drive! to teachers wishing to reflect on their motivations. Listening to or reading JK Rowlings 2008 Harvard Commencement speech entitled The fringe benefits of failure might accompany their leisurely read of Harry Potter.

While I am dwelling on my son's goal-keeping career, I can't help thinking that we need to celebrate heroic failures who came good despite their early disappointments. We all have so much to learn, we are all sensitive to the remarks of our fellow players.

When I was the age of my son I dreamt of playing rugby for England. I sorely failed in this ambition. My rugby teacher, however, left me with a few words of encouragement which have helped me deal with my repeated failures over the years. "This boy has a big heart," he wrote in my school report. "Give me 14 more players like him, and we would never lose." It doesn't take much red ink to build up self-esteem, perhaps much more to destroy it.

Samuel Beckett sums it all up for me,
"Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter! Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, September 5, 2011

Eieio... (Phone)...

Two year old in restaurant.

- No no sit down. No, no!!!
- Please, if you sit down, you will have an ice-cream.
- No! NO sit down!

Parental exasperation, last resort.

Parent takes out iPhone. Two year old looks triumphant and sits down immediately.

- EiEiO, EiEiO!

Instantly the toddler is transformed, she is in a state of transe-like flow.

-Old Macdonald had a farm, EiEiO!

That App cost me three or four euros but it's worth every centime. If I had tried singing every nursery rhyme I know, my daughter would have ended up standing on the restaurant table, in the ice-cream.

-  No! No sit!

I am quite sure that we don't all bond with the same objects around us in the same way, so it is very difficult to judge technology objectively. For some kids, it's a handkerchief, for others a teddy, but heaven forbid that you should forget the object of love and its importance for the loved one.

As far as I can see, the smartphone to this toddler appears  principally to be an interactive nursery ryhme. To me, it is an essential professional tool for learning, teaching and networking.

For my colleagues at work, there are those who appear desperately attached to their cassettes, the photocopier, the cardboard folders, books and all and I can only say that I am beginning to feel empathy for their apparent resistance to another age.

The other day, in a frenzy of domestic space rationalisation my wife threw out all the CD boxes for my CD's. After all, who should give two hoots for plastic boxes? You still have the music and the sleeve notes.

Oh reader, my despair! For me, the joy was in the gestures; reaching out to the box, turning it around in my hands, feeling the slight designed-in resistance on opening the lid....The Cure! Boys Don't Cry!

All of this brings me back to the day I saw a TV presenter spread jam on a CD in order to demonstrate how relatively indestructible a slice of music this would be. It must have been in the 80's when I had time to listen to my music.... My two year old did the same test recently, I feel frankly that I have been conned.

I don't go for music downloads, I am like many of my teaching colleagues. It's not that I can't see that my students think me absurd for actually buying CD's but I suppose I am of another time. I have too many memories...

It is not that we cannot see that we should perhaps move on and keep up. Reason is what makes us grumpy. Giving up that which makes one feel secure, takes time and gentle encouragement. We don't like being dictated to, particularly when it comes to our tools (comfort blankets...)

Kids are generally pretty good at helping their parents to evolve. They are only too happy to show them what they know how to do. They have the time, peer support network, and curiosity to learn how stuff works. They have less or no nostalgia for the old ways of doing things. Their time is coming.

Now teachers, I feel we have to find some way to compromise here, to own up that it's ok to have teddy bears, to know nursery ryhmes. The kids wil help us learn, or they will learn quite happily for us, if we let them.

We all need to have confidence in our need for security and to let go. We are living in a different epoque but Old Macdonald still has his farm, with pigs, horses, donkeys, and sheep...


Sometime in the future

- When I was a kid we used to have a thing I loved. I think they called it an iPhone. But I called it EiEiO...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What I learnt from the Michelin Man...(breaking the mould)

I confess to an emotional attachment to Michelin.

I know that this will be seen by many as suspect. After all it's a multinational corporation we are talking about here. It's not fashionable to profess one's admiration for such a company.

I had better explain myself.

I have been living in Clermont Ferrand for almost half my life, As one arrives in my city, the capital of Auvergne in France, one is met by a gigantic billboard announcing factory buildings; this is the capital of Michelin.

Nobody in Clermont Ferrand can ignore the might of the company in the fabric of the community. For you, Michelin maybe only mean tyres and Bibendum, the company's logo, here it also names a family: Edouard, Andre, Marcel... streets, stadiums and schools. Clermont and Michelin are indissociably linked, for better or worse - fact.

As in all family histories, there have been shadowy stories and tragic instances. Stories of collaboration with the German occupier during the second world war or resistance to it followed by deportation and imprisonment. Triumph,..untimely death punctuate its saga.

Major conflict, industrial/internacine dispute, innovation, competition, domination, secrecy, distrust run deep here; emotional attachment does not preclude reasoned detachment or harsh judgement.

For all its failings, Michelin indisputably knows how to make trust-worthy radial tyres for your car, plane, tram, bike, tractor, truck or space shuttle.

One might remark: one tyre does not fit all.

Last Sunday, we took the kids to the park and while they were tiring themselves out, running, sliding and swinging. I fell into discussion with a Michelin man. He had just arrived in the capital after stints in the USA, Germany, the UK...

He was unquestionably, a Michelin man. Michelin men seem all to be of the same mould. Analytical, reasoned, reliably dressed and attached, Jean-Claude (we will call him JC), had worked in other corporations before being adopted by the Michelin family, thus giving him means of comparison.

Elsewhere, he had been used to being driven, his time and productivity counted to the last toc. The Michelin mind-set came as rather a shock.

"Yes, we think the fit between us is good, come and work with us." They had said at the interview.
"Oh right," said JC, "Er what shall I be doing."
"Oh don't worry about that." came the reply, "Trust us, come and work with us."
"Eh bien d'acord."

JC signed his contract.

A little while later, he was given an office and the vaguest of missions.

"OK, you have a month. Go and talk with us, see what we do, see what interests you. We'll talk together about where you'll be working after. Trust us."

A month later after observing JC from afar and chatting with other company men, the men came back and assigned JC his first real job. A variety of assignments around the world followed at regular intervals. Michelin invests in such men who will manage.

JC was now about to enter the lofty heights of the corporation's headquarters.

Financial director for agricultural tyres, his career was taking off. Happy, analytical, if not un-critical, JC expressed his admiration for the Michelin way. As the kids were whooping with joy in the play park.

I made mental notes:


How many older kids in school get to seriously play freely? Should they be so driven? How much time do we give them to find their route? How much of our observation is done from afar? How much time do we take to imagine their missions with them? Are we so impatient to mould them to be competitive that we tire them out? Do we confuse education with manufacture? What do we do to help them break our mould?


One tyre doesn't fit all.

You can't assemble a company or a community without trust.

Constant adaptation is essential to remain en route.

Freedom of action does not come without constraints.

Apprenticeship cannot be dissociated from research, repetition, or revolution.

Capital growth is rooted in social responsibilty.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPadf

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Postman's progress...

Do postmen deliver?

Yes! Everyday, they sort mail, deliver bills, brochures, and the odd postcard (becoming rarer) pretty reliably to the right door.

To reduce postmen to such a role however is to do them a disservice. Postmen have also often played an important but unheralded part in bringing human presence to the needy and lonely in our communities. Pat your postman on the back;  his days as an unpaid social worker are sorely counted.

In this age of climactic economic crisis, politicians have grand plans for our faithful posties. . .They are now also to  become...ECO-WARRIORS! They are on the front-line fighting for our planet's survival. Thanks to the latest techological advances their rounds are now becoming electric.

Out the noisy, smelly, polluting combusion engine, in the shiny yellow rechargeable minivans!

Progress indeed!

This is what first struck me when I came across the shiny yellow rechargeable minivan parked on my way to attending the conference Cyberlangues at the cinema in Marly le Roi last week. So impressed was I, I forgot my haste and I took three photographs of the thing.  This aroused the curiosity of the proud postman pilot of the aforesaid vehicule.

"Zero C02 emmissions! La Poste engages itself to provide a responsible mail service!" The slogan on the side of the van boomed out, accompanied by the World Wild Life Fund panda, in logo.

We started talking, Marcel and I, (we shall call him Marcel) about his new van.

"It's great fun to drive", he said, "Would be ideal for an older postman, or on certain rounds. But for me," he added, "I prefer a bicycle."

I looked perplexed, wasn't this yellow dream progress?

"You see with a bicycle, I can go right up to the house, put the letters in the box and have time to chat with the people. Oh yes, and  it used to keep me fit! With the minivan, I have to get out of the van, open the back, get a basket, walk to the house, post the letter, go back to the van, put the basket in the box, close the back, get into the driver's seat put my foot down on the accelerator and rush to the next stop. It's slower than it used to be on a bike.  I don't have time for people any more..."

"The managment only measure the number of letters  I post and how  fast I do my round...."

Do teachers deliver? 

Well, children are sorted into categories, their letters are checked and they are pretty reliably sent to the appropriate destination.  Children who are difficult to put into boxes get left in sorting offices or are sometimes lost in transit.

To reduce teachers to this role, is maybe alienating but it makes economic sense. After all the public expects a reliable education service which will take their children to the right employer's door.  Global competition, means that we are obliged to make sure that our rounds are up to standard.

Shanghai standards are the criteria by which our universities, for example, are to be assessed. Proud is the university president who can claim his entrance into this universally accepted top-performing league! Such educational institutions win a glowing stamp of approval.


It has come to our notice that French education is lagging behind the UK in the integration of shiny modern technology into the classroom.  The measure of this lag? The number of Interactive White Boards in classrooms. These are shiny, impressive, expensive (now out of date) replacements for the outdated chalk and blackboard . Catching up with the AngloSaxons is surely a must.

Progress indeed for some!

Certain universities currently pride themselves on their "personalised learning" allowed by  sophisticated "Virtual Learning Environments". Students follow cleverly defined, scientifically evaluated routes towards their final stamp of approval. I myself was able to share in the communicative satisfaction of a colleague at Cyberlangues who described this modern process.  She glowed with her university's recognition at Shanghai.

Didn't we feel impressed!


Elsewhere, thanks to political demand, iPads are flooding into the Corrèze, these new saviours of National Education, are to be touchy/feely digital satchels for new flashy digital textbooks. Brilliant, innovative, brave measures...

Do politicians deliver?

By which criteria should we evaluate their progress? Are we only interested in speed, economic efficiency, competitive performance? Wouldn't individual postmen on their rounds, or particular teachers in their specific classrooms not be better judges of the tools necessary to better perform their difficult tasks?  Shouldn't we be taking the time to stop, to  look, to listen, and  to talk, together?

How should we evaluate technological progress?

Do politicians deliver (what we want)?

Are we going to continue to allow politicians and people to stamp on the lonely, the needy, on the misdirected on their way to career success?

Shouldn't we be educating our children, to analyse 'progress' more critically? (I am just asking questions. I am just a teacher.)

This post arrived to your screen only thanks to Marcel, the critical postman.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why EVERNOT(E)...? (Remember Everything)

I don't know about you but I never lose anything.

I know exactly where everything is.

I have never lost my keys, my passwords, or my notes... as far as I can remember.

Ever looked for technology to help you organise your chaos? Well, I did.

First I invested a PC with my text documents, my Encarta encylopaedia and my time in a marvellous digital diary which was perfect.

As soon as I left the house I had to jot the contents of my schedule down on the back of an envelope and transfer my stuff onto a floppy disk.

To do list: 'Don't forget to remember the envelope!'

Then came a PDA  or Avigo, as we called it in my home, which sychronised my faithful digital diary in a portable monochrome form. Finally I was able to know where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing; when I remembered to synchronise the thing. The Avigo was accompanied by  my easy to forget USB key.

More recently, I have been delighted with Google Applications and bathe in the sea of  tranquility somewhere over my netbook, PC, any other PC's or Macs and around my smart iPhone. USB keys I now lose unthinkingly. Who needs keys in the clouds? I am so blasé now.

There are of course no clouds in the clouds.

Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, Zoho, et all intermingle (or not) above our heads in a fight to be at our service. So much of their service is free. Flickr, Yahoo!

How does one find what one is looking for in the clouds? How does one select the best cloud to entrust one's life?

Well personally, I don't put my trust in any one (particularly not me).  I have invested much in Google, quite a lot in Apple, very little in Microsoft and just recently a tiny share in EVERNOTE.

EVERNOTE is my current favourite helper. I admit to being enthusiastic. Present in every device it seamlessly takes my bits and pieces (those which are not in my diary, my presentations, my class notes, my links, my photos, my videos)  wherever I am and keeps them to be shared with whoever after. This friend trips through operating systems, in and out of Twitter and Facebook, recording text, photo, sound and location. It understandstands that a smartphone can complement a PC, a PC can converse with an iPad.

This my friends is the future of my digital environment. I have servants at my beck and call who are comfortable wherever I am, in any context, in any social system, discreet, un-demanding of my attention, close to hand and almost, like me, entirely free(ish).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Le Retour de Mickey L'Ange...

It didn't work! Failure, total failure! How could they possibly understand so little? How might one come back after such a fiasco?

Thursday 25th August I was busy at Cyberlangues a grouping together of language teachers from all over France. I was due to 'animate' a workshop on the use of Smartphones and Tablets in the language learning classroom.

Everything was in place. The colleagues were there, in number, in the room and in other regions and other  countries following the events on Twitter and on Adobe Connect. The tests were almost conclusive. Nothing could go wrong...

Then it did.

First apparent problem was my own ambition.

 I was curious to learn how far one could go with the different spaces and tools linked to us at the same time: netbook linked up to video projector with a document camera pointed at an  iPhone and/or the people in the classroom,  microphone plugged into the netbook and speaker to transmit/exchange the sound from participants all over the world via Adobe Connect, chat enabled in Connect and Twitter stream, Adobe Connect app on iPhone to act as portable terminal for the participants to exchange with the other partipants coming from the UK, India, and France. The iPad (1) would be projected, after the netbook, with an AV adapter - excellent but limited to particular apps. Marvellous! I had just the app: Popplet. Great for presenting complicated ideas visually.

You understand  all of this with difficulty. I can almost hear the hesitation between the commas and the colons.

Well, I did try to make it simpler.

I had promised myself not to include the participants from around the world via Adobe Connect. Then I got taken up by my enthusiasm and that of the others; marvellous people from my PLN (personal learning network) on Twitter.

Frankly, I blame them!

Without them, I would have been unable to have so much to talk about, so much to share, so little fear for ridicule, so little reason to doubt that the game is never over....until it is.

Then even worse, I didn't do what had been on the advertisement for the workshop.

The lady from the Ministry apparently kindly, pointedly let me know that she was rather disappointed that we didn't actually get to touch the touchscreens and the myriad of applications behind the glass.

The teachers, after all were there, in number, to get to grips with IOS (or perhaps Android) in the classroom...

Ah yes...The teachers were apparently non-plussed by my introduction.

A snapshot of a painting attributed to Michel Ange (my spelling). What was the connection between my workshop on iPhones, iPods and this painting I asked ambitiously?

Well we tried reproducing the gestures, together, bravely, physically. I must thank the brave members of the workshop who did what I had begged: 'Get up and Move!'. Well they all did except @KedemFerre, (a rebel) who spent his time looking at my website and the lady from the Ministry who reminded me that her wheelchair dependence was an obstacle to such pedagogical innovation...

The teachers were confused.  I include myself in this category. @chrisjaeg asked @warwicklanguage, via Twitter, whether  @sensor63 was always disconcerting so? Others admitted to being elsewhere..(I didn't)  Some had clearly not been looking... carefully. Their fingers touched (on the painting there is a space between God and his Adam). Others looked at me, the ceiling, the others, anywhere anxiously. What on earth were we doing? Was it ok to stand up and be ridiculous in front of the lady from the ministry?  What about the applications?

Touch is not just tactile Mickey!

An Italian painting, it was, I was assured by Michel Ange (by an Italian teacher to be accurate).  Creation, a part of the Sixtine Chapel's ceiling. I learnt! The rest, I was obliged to find for myself, thanks to Google, Wikipedia, and Twitter.

Mickey Ange had a father. He was unhappy that his brilliant son chose to be a ceiling painter. Mickey the son rebelled. Thank God he did! Without his Genius, our world would be a worse place.

Of course this story is almost completely untrue!

He painted the ceiling with the help of his anonymous apprentices.

This article, owes much to @timbuckteeth, @warwicklanguage, @w2YAdavid, @Wagjuer the confusion of the participants present, my children and my wife and childish curiosity.

The lesson I learnt.

A tool is only useful when it is wielded with others and its product witnessed by others who might embellish its failings with their feelings, reactions, and presence.

Education is this new century with these new tools has more to do with love than with legend...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Watch the birdie...

If life is a journey not a destination and we live and learn, where shall we go together in our lives?

Talk without walk is perhaps a waste of our time unless we take the time to walk to talk together.

With social media are we risking being alone together and straying far from what is essential in life? Does social media distract from the essential relationship between teacher and pupil? Does personalisation mean individualism and an abandonment of community? What values underpin our transactions, our education?

If education is life and not just a preparation for life what is our role as educators?

If  life is what happens to you when you are making other plans (John Lennon?) is learning what happens despite our best laid plans? Is education learning to listen to John Lennon?

If education is what remains after we have forgotten everything we have learnt at school (Einstein) why should we waste our time forgetting?

If Socrates knew he knew nothing, why bother trying to learn something? Or maybe we need to revise our classics?

Money talks, absolute power corrupts absolutely, not all that glistens is gold, love is a smoking gun...

'Birds of a feather flock together'.
Vultures circle around the carcasses, pigeons buy without thought, chickens run around headless, ostriches put their heads in the sand. People are falling like sparrows, while the hawks are watching on from afar.

The Twitter revolution, the Facebook generation, the teacher strike, the surgical strike...let's not forget that when all has been said and done, children and women bleed and careless talk costs lives.

"Great minds think alike, but fools seldom differ.'

If we are not part of the solution we are part of the problem.

Proverbs I am learning:

Sense and nonsense...

Why add to this cacophony on the net? What the hell can I possibly add? Why not just shut up?

Well, I must admit that for a number of years I would have agreed with you.I have kept at least five secret blogs which have untroubled your world and boosted Blogger's statistics over the past four or five years. They have been very useful personal journals, resource banks, classroom experiments and exposed me to no risk of ridicule! Now, I am in my 50th year and frankly I no longer care enough about  criticism (my own or that of others) not to want to leave a few touches of my own in this space.

Why am I going to speak through this blog about technology and learning?
In my work as a language teacher, I have been using the internet in my work since 1996, have worked in e-learning since 2000, with social networks since 2007 and am continuing to use social networks and mobile learning solutions in my work today. I am convinced that technology is changing the way that we are learning and that it is essential to imagine a new education system in the light of this.

I have amassed a wealth of experience about life, learning, learning technology and the need to never stop learning.  My interest is to play my part for the community and to learn from the community. This blog,  is a  web media-enabled dialogue from which I hope to learn.