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

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