A website dedicated to language learning (voxy.com) has just published a ranking of languages
according to how difficult it is to acquire a certain degree of proficiency – measured by how long it takes you
to get there.
Interesting fact: German isn’t on the list – on none of them. What does that tell us? It can’t mean that
it’s even harder than Chinese and deserves a category of its own and there wasn’t enough space, blah-blah.
No, it either means that German has become even less important than Norwegian or Serbian … or it means
that one shouldn’t take this whole infographic too seriously.
Seit heute kann man die Amberger Chorgemeinschaft auch auf Facebook und bei Twitter finden. Ob uns das neue Zuhörer (oder gar Mitsänger) beschert, bezweifle ich ja noch, aber wenigstens brauchen wir uns nicht vorzuwerfen, wir hätten’s nicht versucht ;)
I know I have mentioned Prezi on this blog before – but I’ve just come across a very good example that shows what you can do with it, and how to go about it. If you’re familiar with some of Prezi’s features, you can click through it a little more quickly; if you’re new to Prezi, you will need the fifteen minutes. It’s a prezi by Adam Somlai-Fischer, one of the founders and Head of Design at Prezi.com.
The info text at the YouTube site gives us this much information on Robinson:
Sir Ken Robinson, PhD, is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He has led and advised high-impact national commissions on creativity, education and the economy in Europe, Asia and the United States. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, national governments and some of the worlds leading cultural organizations and is the author of Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (2001) and The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (2009).
I made a little video – pretty quickly, in fact, by just uploading photos from my computer. Finding (and taking) those photos had taken a little longer. The pictures come from flickr mainly, with a Creative Commons licence, some were taken by myself.
Judy Baxter (2005), Sascha Jäggi (2008), Brian Yap (2006), Russell Neches (2006), Michael Surran (2001), Paul Reynolds (2008), Michael Oh (2008), Yannic Meyer (2007), Kevin Lim (2007), Poramaporn Niramon (2004), Schröder+Schömbs PR _ Brands | Media | Lifestyle (2006), Star for Life (2009), Susan NYC (2005), Rex Pe (2006), philippe leroyer (2007), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2010), usm photos (2008), David Schroeter (2005), Ken Colwell (2006). Thanks very much!
The movie was put together on (and is hosted at) PhotoPeach. If you keep a limit of 30 pictures (as I did), this service is free. I used prints of these photographs for the introduction to a teacher training workshop that I did together with a colleague this week.
To the happy few who have ventured to write a comment which isn’t spam and who are considering to contribute another comment in the future: I’ve just changed the settings so that you have to be registered and logged in to comment.
547 spam comments since the end of June … and there isn’t even a button which deletes *all* those, instead I’ve got to call up every single one of the 28 pages of spam, click on “mark all” and then delete the pile of rubbish. What a waste of time.
Sorry to bore you with this.
August 21st, 2010 | Category: General | Comments are closed
[Updated 29 Aug. 2010 - thank you, Matthias, for your constructive comment!]
Maybe there haven’t been many reasons so far why somebody would like to quote a Twitter posting in an academic paper. However, it seems to me that the importance of Twitter as a source of intelligent content is growing, if only slowly. So if somebody wants to quote a “tweet” – what should she do?
Ever since my days at university (some decades ago), I’ve adhered to the documentation standards of the Modern Language Association (MLA). The most important rules are explained at the excellent site of the Purdue Online Writing Lab, run by Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana (USA). The relevant page in this context is this:
They don’t list Twitter explicitly yet (as an example, say), but the guidelines for web postings in general show how to go about it:
Cite Web postings as you would a standard Web entry. Provide the author of the work, the title of the posting in quotation marks, the Web site name in italics, the publisher, and the posting date. Follow with the medium of publication and the date of access. Include screen names as author names when author name is not known. If both names are known, place the author’s name in brackets. Remember if the publisher of the site is unknown, use the abbreviation n.p.
As an example, I’ll quote one of my own tweets. The bibliographical data should enable potential readers to identify what Twitter posting I refer to. Since tweets don’t have a title as such, it would be difficult to put it in quotation marks, so, instead, I give the date and time when it was posted.
The above example is supposed to be part of a bibliography (a.k.a. Works Cited). You could leave out the URL, but I always like it included. Twitter makes it easy to use an unambiguous URL for the individual tweet (called “status” in Twitter terminology); it can be retrieved by accessing the Twitter user’s “profile” and right-clicking on the time and date provided at the bottom of the respective tweet (choose ‘copy link address’ from the context menu). In case it is a very recent tweet, it is advisable to wait until it is more than 24 hours old, because before then, Twitter gives you only “about 2 hours ago” or “about 21 hours ago” instead of the precise time and date.
In the text body of the paper (or book), this would look different, of course. If you quote a Twitter posting in text form, it ought to be followed by parenthetical documentation, like this: (Vilsrip, 25 Aug. 2010, 11:23). If you use screenshots, though, you could have them include the author and date line, and that – in my opinion – should be enough; a screenshot of your own timeline shows the author plus time and date, whereas a screenshot of an individual tweet (status) only contains time and date, so that the author’s name has to be given in your text.
During the roughly 25 years of my teaching life, I’ve never thought so much about teaching and what it ought to be like, how it ought to change, and what I myself could – and can – contribute as in the past couple of months. Why? Because of Twitter and embedded videos and streamed discussions on the Internet.
Do I have time to write this blog post? Not really (so I’ll keep it short). But I somehow feel it’s necessary. I didn’t have time to watch the videos and communicate via Twitter and blog entries or comments either. It’s something I do in addition to everything else because I find it fascinating and important.
Not all of my Twitter contacts are teachers or teaching experts, but the percentage is rather high. And there are lots of links recommended every day, most of them full of intelligent and inspiring content. Let me give a couple of examples.
Why don’t we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it’s because we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says. It’s a message with deep resonance. Robinson’s TEDTalk has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006. The most popular words framing blog posts on his talk? “Everyone should watch this.”
A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His latest book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, a deep look at human creativity and education, was published in January 2009.
2. “We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For” (Oct. 2009) – this is both a DVD and an inspiring website; there are even some clips on the Internet that aren’t on the DVD – so keep clicking on everything at this website, there are many short clips from the DVD and beyond. What is impressive about this project – apart from its serious and profound contents – is that this is a real movie about what is wrong with education and what ought to change, with very good picture quality and professionally done all around.
The world is changing rapidly – but our education system is not keeping pace. This landmark independent documentary, inspired and guided by Lord Puttnam and Sir Michael Barber, explores the education system in the UK and asks whether the current system provides young people with the opportunity to develop their talents.
High-profile figures who share their personal experiences include Sir Richard Branson, Germaine Greer, Henry Winkler, Bill Bryson and Sir Ken Robinson. This thought-provoking film offers unique insight across generations and nations, and reveals a very inconvenient truth about education.
For those who aren’t native speakers of English (and Chris Lehmann does speak very quickly here) – and in order to show what statements I found quotable (among a couple of others) – I’ll list a few here:
“Teachers all over the world know they have to change, they know there’s something wrong but they don’t know how to fix it.”
“Kids can do so much more today … publish, be really authentic voices, and yet none of that matters unless it shows up on a test.”
“What we can do today (in education) and what we’re being asked to do is in total disconnect.”
“What’s going on in our schools right now is not education but training.”
“What we especially need in this world is people who can think.”
“We need to teach kids to create, to research, to collaborate, to present and to network.”
“Schools must be caring institutions. We teach kids, not subjects.”
“What if we dared kids to think that school wasn’t preparation for real life, but it *was* real life?”
“We’re teaching wisdom.”
So what is all of this doing to me?
Well, first of all I get a new sense of how important a teacher’s job really is. Secondly, I’m newly aware of what responsibility I owe to the people I teach. And thirdly, I think I’m slowly changing my teaching – I look for more opportunities now where pupils might bring their creativity into the classroom, where the computer room might be used in a meaningful way, how interaction within the class and between classes might be helpful – not forgetting, at the same time, what has been useful and effective so far. And so on. Slowly. But there is no other way, I think.
(Comments welcome in English and German – as you like it.)
Im Zusammenhang mit der Diskussion über eine Veranstaltung des EduCamp 2010 in Hamburg, in der es um das Thema “Das Internet als Bildungsraum” ging, habe ich mir in einem Kommentar in Jean-Pol Martins Weblog Gedanken darüber gemacht, woraus für mich der Bildungsraum Internet besteht. Die dort eingetragenen Beobachtungen (die freundlicherweise auch in Walter Böhmes Blog zitiert werden), möchte ich hier noch einmal wiedergeben:
Das Internet als Bildungsraum besteht für mich u. a. aus
1) Netzwerken, die wiederum aus Personen bestehen – diese Personen geben nicht nur direkt (Twitter, Mail, IM) Hinweise, die zur Bildung beitragen (können), sondern auch indirekt, nämlich durch Links zu
2) Webseiten, die (von Personen bereitgestellte) Informationen enthalten. Diese Informationen können in unterschiedliche Darreichungsformen gekleidet sein: Eintrag in Wikipedia oder in einem anderen Wiki; Blogeintrag; Artikel in der Online-Präsenz einer Zeitung oder Zeitschrift; Text in einem Buch, das online zugänglich ist (z. B. auf books.google.com oder auf einer web1.0-artigen Internetseite vom Autor bereitgestellt); Videobeitrag auf YouTube oder einem anderen Video-Hoster.
Manchmal werden die online zugänglichen Informationen nicht ausreichen, so dass es zu Folgendem kommt:
3) Hinweisen auf nicht im Internet zugängliches Bildungsmaterial – in Form von Büchern. Oft und gern gegeben als Link zu einem der großen Online-Buchhändler, denn nicht jeder hat seinen Wohnort in der Nähe einer Uni-Bibliothek.
4) Feedback, das vor allem aus den Netzwerken kommt – Bildung ist etwas, das sich u. a. (nach meinem Verständnis) im Diskurs mit anderen weiter entwickelt.
Vorsatz: Diese Struktur an Schülerinnen vermitteln – verbunden mit folgender Warnung:
All dies kostet Zeit, und deshalb ist es umso wichtiger, ein Gefühl dafür zu entwickeln, was wichtig oder unwichtig, hilfreich oder störend ist, und Prioritäten zu setzen.