Archivi categoria: twitter

30 seconds

I’ve been in a running rut, though I continue to run regularly during the week (every morning I don’t teach an early class and sometimes on weekends). I would run for the sake of running, thinking I’d had good runs, but the reality was that they weren’t. I run for exercise, but lately I’d plateaued and couldn’t, for the life of me, challenge myself. I actually wasn’t even pushing myself to run harder, longer, better…I would just run.

Then yesterday I read the blog of @girlcanrun, http://www.girlcanrun.com, about how the half MUST go on. She concluded her post with

My body was born to run. Running is 90% mental. My legs will go forever. And I WANT this.
so I asked myself, “When was the last time you felt like this about running, enza?” Not in a long while… for me, the resilience of the body is something I will never deny. I’ve put my body through a lot and ran even with my baker’s cyst and survived (not advisable but it’s who I am). What I have been struggling with, since my first race on the labour day weekend of 2011, is the mental component. I haven’t been able to run effectively because these are the thoughts that go through my mind as I run:
  • I’ve got so much grading to get through; I must get home
  • I’m overworked and my research is suffering. When the f**k will I finish the articles?
  • How can we continue to have the same stupid fight repeatedly
  • People are idiots! Yet they are more successful/happy/rich than I
  • Damn jiggly thighs! My ass still looks so big
  • Doesn’t matter how much I run, the scale isn’t showing it. Time for liposuction, but Dr.D, MD&JD, says I don’t need it. Should i get another opinion?

My demons…pathetic, isn’t it? The rational, logical side of me knows that I need to shut this down. The perfectionist in me reminds me that I’m far from perfect so it isn’t going to happen…

Then I came across a tweet/link (I can’t really remember which) about taking 30 seconds while you run. For 30 seconds ignore everything and look around you. Awaken the visual. The next 30 seconds, listen carefully to what’s around you. Awaken the audio. The next 30 seconds, concentrate on your pace and gait. Focus on feeling the run. Then finally, focus on your breathing (something I’m regularly monitoring). Okay, so 2 minutes of your run NOT thinking about anything BUT the “here and now”.

I did it this morning for the first time and it made a world of difference–my anxieties disappeared after a few repetitions of the 2 minutes. I had a truly therapeutic, rewarding run. Thank you @girlcanrun, the tweet from a few days ago, and someone whose running and triathlon prep has been really remarkable, @twerick http://nadarpedalearycorrer.blogspot.com/2011/11/un-ano-corriendo.html (in Spanish).

My new mantra…take 30 seconds!

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Archiviato in random, running, twitter

Invitation to speak about Twitter at York U (Canada)

Imagine walking into a mid-size, clean, welcoming seminar room for a morning presentation. It does not seem imposing, but you discover once you begin to set up that this room is equipped with tools that you haven’t ever encountered. Quite impressed I was with just the concave wall upon which my  presentation was projected, reminding me that sometimes things can become larger than life, and that it is not all that bad. I was mesmerized as Ron Owston, Director of the Institute for Research on Learning Technolgies at York University, increased the size of my opening slide to Goliath proportions. Here I am pictured with Ron, and Roberta Sinyor of the Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics, literally before my talk.

I actually gave two talks but the first, the powerpoint of which I share here, was the one of which I am particularly proud. It gave me an opportunity to revisit much about Twitter, including the *new* Twitter, new research and where I am with Twitter as an academic and avid twitterer. Discussing Twitter in higher education is always a rewarding experience because there are always some good discussions which ensue, especially those comments that begin with “I want to play devil’s advocate” ;)

Clearly, the research on Twitter in higher ed I share in this presentation is not comprehensive. I am grateful to dana boyd for sharing research on Twitter and Microblogging on her site. Here you can find more articles, conference talks, etc.

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Archiviato in research, twitter

Tweeting the petition protesting SUNY-Albany cuts

Economic crisis, reevaluation of programs, reallocation of resources, restructuring of priorities…this process is leading everyone in this country to make difficult decisions to deal with current realities.

For those of us who feel that these decisions are outwardly wrong, we unite and make our voice heard. This has been the case with the language programs cut at SUNY-Albany. If you aren’t aware of the dastardly attack on the humanities, here is the decision being protested from around the world.

In October, UAlbany president George Philip announced that the campus is suspending admissions to five programs — French, Russian, Italian, classics and theater — in the wake of an unprecedented budget shortfall.

This decision has created quite an uproar not only from academics directly affected, but from constituents in higher education from administrators to scholars to students. Stanley Fish blogged about this crisis (in two parts). Other institutions are aiming to revive the humanities.

Ultimately, once decisions like this one reached at SUNY-Albany are made, there is little hope at reversing it, despite the most comprehensive attempts made by all. As a faculty member, I have participated in letter writing (both in its traditional sense and by email correspondence), and have disseminated information to others too.

I even zealously tweeted about the online petition immediately after I learned about it. I imagine a smile or a smirk appearing on the lips of you readers as you get to this paragraph. You are probably thinking, “There she goes with Twitter again. Isn’t there a statute of limitations?!” No, there isn’t! ;)

On Sunday, October 10, 2010, I learned about the petition via this tweet:

It was retweeted by a number of members (more than just the 2 in the image above!) in my personal learning network (PLN). One tweep asked if international signatures would be accepted. I did not know whether their signatures would be counted, nevertheless many of us pleaded with everyone in our PLN to sign the petition and retweet the information to their PLNs. Three days later, I tweeted this:

My last tweet on October 13/10 showed an increase of 2,960 signatures over the three days in which I tweeted it and it was retweeted. I am not naive enough to think that Twitter was solely responsible for this increase of almost 3,000 signatures in 3 days, but I do credit my PLN on Twitter with helping disseminate information about the petition quickly and effectively. Tweeps in Italy, Spain and England, people across NJ and the rest of America united to be heard on the SUNY-Albany cuts.

The penultimate paragraph of the timesunion.com articles tells us

The document has garnered signatures and comments from 37 foreign countries, particularly in Europe, Asia and the Pacific, as well as 49 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Although I will never know for certain, I firmly believe that the far-reaching arm of Twitter contributed to the extensive national and international representation of the signatures on the petition.

You may think this is a lost cause and I have tweeted and blogged for no reason…but there were and still are so many lessons to learn from this, at so many different levels.

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Archiviato in twitter

Correcting language mistakes on Twitter

My awesome tweeps are so encouraging and supportive of my adventures in the twittosphere. Their enthusiasm and level of engagement with me is so very much appreciated.

After my last post on how I’m learning Spanish (and now Portuguese too) on Twitter (my language goals for the summer!), in Spanish I thanked a number of people who had retweeted my blog post. Of course, there was an error in my tweet and I had two friends advise me of them, in two different ways…one in a direct message explicitly stating my error, the other in a reply message using a recast to note my error.

How do others approach error correction on Twitter? This is fundamental to me as a language instructor and I wonder what others do too!

Thanks for your anticipated feedback :)

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Archiviato in research, twitter

Challenging all foreign and English as a second language teachers

During a wonderful colloquium at the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) in Atlanta (more on that in a subsequent post), I set forth a challenge to the audience and co-presenters who were interested in using Twitter with their FL and ESL/EFL students: Try to learn a language using Twitter yourself.

As teachers/researchers, we always deliberate the implementation of new tools (especially Web 2.0 ones) in our classes. We research the literature, we outline our agenda, implement the tool and make the necessary adjustments as our project proceeds. The most rewarding part of our research is when we analyze our data and review the students’ perceptions so then we can reflect on the challenges and reconsider the project for future implementation.

So we’re ready to go with our action research, right? Well, why not familiarize ourselves first hand with what we want our students to do by putting ourselves in their shoes? I know that although we are already bilingual (or trilingual or polyglots), we are interested in learning other languages. So why not use Twitter as a tool to language learning ourselves?

Start by finding speakers of the language on Twitter. Start following them. Create a Twitter list (see my list for my Spanish tweeps from whom I’m learning) so you can follow their tweets. If you are a little gun shy initially, that’s OK…just read their tweets, follow their conversations, view their links (no, this is NOT stalking ;) ). Eventually though, you may want to say “buenos días” and “¿cómo estás?” so that later you will be in a position to interact with them as you become more comfortable with the language you are trying to learn.

Can you learn the language by using Twitter alone? Of course not! But the tweets are a good springboard and I hope they encourage you to discover all other media available out there (books, blogs YouTube videos, music, movies (and clips), etc.)

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Archiviato in research, twitter

Twitter in Higher Ed: the Report

Click here for PDF

Click here for PDF

Maybe I’m expecting too much from higher education, given how ingrained I am and how much I have at stake professionally …

Why some faculty members never tweet? “It’s not as easy as Facebook” “It’s too complicated”…what?

Well, maybe I’m biased. I don’t recall participating in the survey (but I could swear that one of the pro-Twitter answers could be mine!) but I think this is worth sharing.

If you prefer, you can go directly to the Faculty Focus site to see a brief description of the report and request to download it. They are also on Twitter @facultyfocus.

P.S. September must be a hot month for Twitter reports. Check this one out too that analysed influence on Twitter http://www.webecologyproject.org/2009/09/analyzing-influence-on-twitter/

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Archiviato in twitter

The Tweep Types behind the Tweets

as I write this post, Twitter is down. What did I do to network? Went back to Friendfeed (new UI in beta & a new widget for my blog) and reintroduced myself to it. Well, I also discovered a good thing while I was there (which just might prompt me to use it again).

A few posts ago, I asked what our main use of Twitter is? Well, here are the results:

survey


On Friendfeed tonight, I discovered this enjoyable analysis of the psychology of tweets, which has interesting implications on my very informal and unscientific survey results. Evidently, I am at the point where I have achieved “the full realization of [my] potential” on Twitter. I personally doubt that and hope that there is more for me  on this great micro-blogging site. 

hierachy

Where do you fall in this hierarchy?

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Archiviato in twitter

why twitter?

An interesting international conversation on Twitter this morning caught my attention and prompted this poll. The three participants I follow, @josepicardo (UK), @nergizk (Bursa) and @courosa (Canada), were engaged in a dialogue about the ways in which we use Twitter, the purpose of following and the right to unfollow, and the idea of community membership (just to name a few topics). 

I WANT TO KNOW…what is your main reason for tweeting? Please feel free to add another option. There is no wrong or right answer! (how many profs actually say that?)

FYI, here are 4 soundbites, in chronological order but not sequential as the real dialogue occurred on Twitter. In an attempt to perceive the whole conversation, I used search.twitter.com (this link will be relevant for a limited time, given it provides real time search results). If you can view these results, you will see it was a perfect example of a many-to-many conversation between participants who may or may not have been following one another.

twitter1

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Archiviato in twitter

kickass twitter posts…do’s and don’ts

experimenting with twitter in the classroom has had me conduct research on a different level–not peer-reviewed journals as is always the case in academia but rather blogs on twitter and qualitative analysis of what people say and do with Twitter (basically, I am conducting two different research projects simultaneously).

this morning I came across a post B.L. Ochman’s what’snextblog and discovered this list applicable to all Twitterers, I suppose. I have interspersed my comments amongst his her points, so feel free to oppose, support or just comment…

     
  1. Don’t be pedantic. We don’t care what you’re eating for lunch, or that you just woke up. Actually, the culture value of these types of tweets is phenomenal for a language learning. Language doesn’t happen in a vacuum. See my first post Twitter’s “what are you doing?”
  2. Don’t use Twitter just to pimp your blog posts. I’m not guilty of this, am I? Actually, maybe a little.
  3. Don’t rant (unless you are Vaspers.) Occasional venting isn’t a problem. We are “family”, after all.
  4. Don’t pimp your clients all day or friends, for that matter
  5. Don’t over-tweet. If you need half a dozen tweets to make your point, do one that points to a blog post. Amen to that! It’s only 140 characters…
  6. Don’t share breaking news that you can’t confirm. Learned my lesson, never again.
  7. Do link to interesting articles, sites, blog posts. Doesn’t always have to be about “me”?
  8. Do continue your conversation with another tweetie offline after a couple of @someone tweets Being voyeuristic is one thing, but as stefanomainardi said, out of respect for others, some information/conversations should be personal.
  9. Do include links in as many of your posts as possible.
  10. Don’t be dull.
  11. Do pick up the phone and call tweeties with whom you interact often. Actual conversation, what a novel idea!
  12. Answer and ask questions. Why follow twitterers otherwise?
  13. Be polite. i.e., again, why follow people or have a following? We don’t need to engage in uncivilized tweeting.
  14. Don’t be boring. Hmmm, what do you consider boring? Our concepts differ.
  15. Don’t be overly critical of other people’s points of view.
  16. Don’t be promiscuous with the “Follow” button. There are only so many hours in a day. Exceptions to the rule: Barack Obama, Scobleizer, etc., of course.
  17. Don’t feel bad about blocking people. You don’t have to let everyone and his dog follow you. Twitter is a network, the benefit should be two-way. Also, like all forms of communication, there are junk-micro-blogging twitterers, spam twitterers, etc. Caveat emptor!
  18.  

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Archiviato in twitter, Web 2.0