Flickring away

I’ve been so busy reading other posts that my blog has become a bit neglected.

It’s also Fasnacht here (the equivalent to Carneval in Switzerland) and so I went to town to take some pictures for anyone interested. There is a slideshow you can watch if you click on the mask..

Fasnacht can be found in many places in Switzerland, but there the main places are in Lucerne and Basel. In Basel it is a bit different. There are pipers that parade down the street and at street corners and in the bars and restaurants they tell stories about what has happened politically and locally in rhyme. These are called ‘Schnitzelbank’. Most of the people on the street are dressed normally. Not so in Lucerne. Here everyone joins in the fun! In Lucerne it’s more of a cacophonic occassion. Scary masks are the rule, although this year there were many folkloristic themes. The music, also called Guugemusig, is loud and generally off key as a rule. There are usually horns and drums. But there are exceptions.

Here’s a video with one of the groups from last year.


Accountability in teaching with technology

I was just reflecting on Ann’s comment on my last post about using the internet with children and it came ot me that about a year ago there was an incident. A primary school teacher had her kids go to the computer and there were sexually explicit pictures on the screen. The kids went home and told their parents, of course. The result was that this teacher, sho was in no way to blame (it was the school filter, I believe) was accused of wrong-doing, and if I remember correctly, taken to court. I lost the thread, so I don’t know the outcome, but I was pretty taken by the events.

If anyone remembers or can find the link, please leave a comment.

Social media = open media

Sarah mentioned on her blog the following:

Social Media is not part of my culture. To me, it only makes sense when I am participating in a closed environment where I know people – like in this class. The start and stop times, and the built-in time and place to get to know each other makes a difference for me. The concept of joining an ongoing conversation and social group is not something I am comfortable with…yet.

I am well aware of this feeling and it is certainly for each person to decide for themselves. I have also gone through this stage, and perhaps I am now not cautious enough about my presence on the internet. A lot of what I do has to do with trust in others who are also using these tools. Of course, you also have to be aware that everyting you say is documented and can be called up. This must have implications. I would say that this kind of openness can also promote politeness and a more selective choice of expressions.

When using these tools with younger pupils, this is also a topic that needs to be addressed. It is not something the youth worries about, and yet, it is an essential part of training, and I believe strongly that this is our jobs as educators.  They are most certainly unaware of the possible problems that an unreflected statement can have in their later lives.

EVO 08 Kick-off

This evening was the great EVO 08 kick-off where the different groups presented themsleves. I must say I was awestruck by the number of participants in the chatroom, and even more so by the number of listeners on ustream, listening to it live. The number of listeners never went much under 100 at any given time. And despite the technical difficulties (oh, what would we ever do in a perfect world without technical difficulties!?) there was a great feeling of belonging and excitement.

Now SMiELT is about to get rolling, with the colors in place (thank you Rudolf 🙂 ), game chairs ready, and people already getting to know or re-introduce themselves. I’m certainly excited too.

So, let the show begin!!