Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Reflections on MySpace and Twitter

Boy, am I getting old! I spent an hour on the phone with my son Larry tonight, getting him to give me the MySpace addresses of his friends so I could see what young people are doing. It's all about sex, drugs and rock and roll, as we used to say, and I guess we used to say that for a reason, but it seems so long ago now...

I created a MySpace page just to see what it was like, but I don't have time to add my favorite music, music video, and get 1200 "friends" to link to me. It seems that collecting friends is like collecting pogs was when my son was 9.

And here's another one I don't get - Twitter. You can post a short sentence about what you're doing once a minute if you want to. I'm posting on my blog. I'm sitting in the recliner with my cat. I'm talking on the phone. Does anyone care?? I'm definitely missing something here, as this is quite a popular site at the moment. It's all about being connected. As the Dalai Lama says, we all want to be loved and we all want to be happy, and they go together. We are herd animals, and we like to feel connected to, even enveloped by, our group. Ah well, I guess I'm turning into an old curmudgeon.

Instant Video

My colleague Branka was at TESOL in Seattle, where she recorded a short video of the a presentation in the Electronic Village, and posted it on Google video. It makes me realize how we are more and more able to see what others are doing almost instantly from anywhere in the world.

What can adult learners do with Google video or YouTube? Already teachers are videoing each other and posting videos, for the MLoTS project (Media Library of Teaching Skills). The idea of this project is to train teachers to video each other, create short clips (10 min. max) of specific teaching techniques tied to standards or best practices, and make these available in a searchable database.