Laura Loves Languages

A place for many opinions

Bee rocks the house NOLA style.

It was a special morning in New Orleans on Friday when Bee invited the Webheads in Action to the MERLOT 2007 conference via Alado and Second Life. They checked in from Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Taiwan etc. etc.. Bee was really effective in showing how small the world can be when educators with a passion for sharing get together. No more working in isolation. The potential for exciting collaborations between teachers and students worldwide is already  there. Hear/see the keynote at Alado and see Bee’s spectacular NOLA pics at flickr tagged merlot2007onlap. It was really a week to remember.

Our community workday at an historic elementary in Mid-City was a phenomenal start. Forty-two MERLOT folks taping and painting trim in an elementary school that saw five feet of water in its ground floor level after Katrina. They lost everything inside either because of the water or the mold after the water receded.  Our work was a small contribution in light of the need, but it did wonders for all of us. The school is going to be better than it was before Katrina given the hard work of the many volunteers who are working there. Troy, the volunteer coordinator told us that this was one of nine schools he was readying for a Fall start. Everybody wanted to do as much as he/she could.

MERLOT had a new feature called Learning Circles this year and they were very well received by the attendees. MERLOT World Languages sponsored one called The Many Languages of MERLOT where attendees from Brazil, Israel, Japan, Senegal, Canada, Italy, Chile, Spain, the US and the UK and other lands  all spoke volumes about how MERLOT could evolve into a more multilingual resource. The discussion moved from the political “Do we translate?”, to”What do we translate?” and then to a  more technical, but extremely stimulating conversation about metadata. Mous Diack, from Southern University and A&M College and director of the MERLOT African Network project, rightly identified  language as a real access issue. Susanna Dammann, project manager of Linguanet Europa (MERLOT’s 2007 Editor’s Choice award winner) and her Linguanet colleagues, Jose Ignacio and Luis, from the Instituto Cervantes and the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid gave MERLOT many good ideas on possible directions in which to proceed. This meeting was one of the more profitable new features at the MIC because it brought home the growing international  contingent in many different disciplines. The community-building was great as participants talked and MERLOT listened.

Back in the French quarter, we took in the wonderful Rue Royale at night. Art, jewlery, antiques, everything glowed in the light of the gaslight lamps.  The jellyfish lamps were among my favorites. Diane showed us some great art, including a few original Rodrigues at K-Pauls. Will we ever forget the Duck and Shrimp Vindaloo? The Creole Mary’s?

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August 11, 2007 - Posted by | Languages, merlot2007onlap, Uncategorized

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