Laura Loves Languages

A place for many opinions

Wading through the Richness of MERLOT

My dear friend and ELI colleague Joan, while basking in sunny FLA, asks a legitimate question about MERLOT II. As the web matures, so do great referatories* and now MERLOT contains online courses, mobile applications and all sorts of resources that were not even existent when I started as editor in the year 2000. What I would say this means for your graduate student/MERLOT user is to reach out to the Editor or to a member of the MERLOT Community that would normally house her desired resource. I would say that this query would go to Jane Moore, Editor of MERLOT Teacher Education.
Here is how to contact her, straight from the TE Portal:

Welcome to the MERLOT Teacher Education Portal, an educational resource for teaching and learning. You are invited to join MERLOT — it’s free –and contribute to this growing community of teacher education instructors by using the learning materials, submitting your own modules and assignments for evaluation, and learning ideas to help you teach online and in the classroom.

If you have any questions, contact the Editor of the Teacher Education Editorial Board, Jane Moore at

We are still responsive, after all these years!


April 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

2015 Update to Chloebentley’s Blog

To all my friends and family, I am blessed to be blogging in my sixth decade. I still have so much more I want to do, even though what I do right now is enough activity for at least six people. Last month, I walked a 1/2 marathon called the DC Rock n’ Roll. Cannot tell you how elated this achievement makes me.

For seven years, I have been helping all those who are searching for a cure to fight multiple sclerosis, alongside the most badass fighter I know, my own child. She is an inspiring advocate for health of body, mind and spirit and a true inspiration to our whole family. She is frankly the first reason I have paid such attention to my own diet and fitness level. I am in the best shape physically as I have been in many years,as a tribute to her and thanks to her.

I am still in the most exciting profession that anyone can have, a career in World Languages. This profession has brought me full circle from teaching French and Portuguese in the early years at my alma mater and now at ,y own institution. Presently, I teach all of my classes online, through one of the pioneers in distance learning.

I continue my journey in the world of OER, the solution to making educational materials to the world. This year, I will be working as Editor of MERLOT World Languages for 15 years. Through MERLOT, I have become involved in the MERLOT Africa Network. I am very proud of this work.

So what shall we talk about?

April 1, 2015 Posted by | Community College, e-learning, Languages, MS Awareness, Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Let’s talk amongst ourselves- MERLOT Voices

View my page on MERLOT Voices

MERLOT now has a social networking page where we can talk and share info. I do hope all my friends will join and make it rock! I’ll see y’all in there,

Update 9/23: We have been having great conversations in MERLOT VOICES, Adobe Connect and at the TLT group site in a three-week, worldwide version of MERLOT 101. If anyone shows up here between 9/23 and Oct/1, you can register and join our group, where else? in MERLOT VOICES.

We are not quite as big as the 1900+ Connectivism Course that I am taking with George Siemens and Stephen Downes as facilitators. I am  learning amazing things there, which in my experience happens when you put the world together. I have found a worldwide community of bloggers called Global Voices and a related Lingua Project that has volunteer translators translating the GV pages. I love it!!!

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment


I cannot tell you all how wonderful it is to attend an e-learning conference online, as gas prices hurdle to $4.19 at my local gas station and the comfort of my living room surrounded by my dogs replaces airport gates and runway waits. (Ha ha! sorry for the pathetic rhyme.)

At any rate, a number of us on the MAN (MERLOT Africa Network) are attending e/merge and I thought it’d be very interesting to leave comments on this blog about what we all learn there. Today, I listened to the narrated presentation by Irene Ficheman of Sao Paulo, Brazil who compares today’s learning environments to digital ecosystems. We are reading many of the same people- Prensky on Digital Natives, Paulo Freire on learning theory and some new names for me which I will look at soon.

At any rate Ficheman talks about how learners, teachers, content and software act and interact (or not)

so that students can gain knowledge in a dynamic learning environment. We have a good opportunity for reflection on the roles of teachers and learners as actors in this environment. For deeper learning, it seems that the more interaction the better. (So, let’s speak up.)

Anyway, I look forward to checking into this Digital Ecosystem discussion tomorrow and to hear the voices of MAN colleagues so that we can all later interact with the digital ecosystem that is e/merge. I am honored by the privilege to learn from colleagues, Bronwyn and Maggie, who taught us netvibes yesterday.  Earlier in the week, they showed and Facebook. During the  portion, I came across George Siemen’s  Connectivism presentation  from 2005 and, coincidentally, also his blog post about the recent e-learning Africa .

July 13, 2008 Posted by | e-learning | , , , | Leave a comment

On my way to Accra

Sitting in the Amsterdam airport, a remarkable place in that it contains a Van Gogh museum and a casino in addition to all the shops and things you’d come to expect. But best for me is that I have this wi-fi connection . I’m sitting outside this area called “the communication zone” and it’s a joy to be able to communicate. So  y’all keep that in mind when you need to connect somewhere. I wish we could get out and actually SEE Amsterdam, but that’ll be another day.

Rick and I are on our way to Ghana for the first Pan-African forum on Open Educational Resources. With my colleagues from the MERLOT African Network, Dr. Moustapha Diack, Dr. Gerry Hanley, who is also the Executive Director of MERLOT, and Dr. Solomon Negash, we are all going to give a MERLOT workshop for educators from all over Africa and the world. Hard to put into words what a great thing this is.

OERS are really taking off and it’s about time to acknowledge the hard work folks have been doing to increase access to technology-enhanced learning materials.Look at all these portals on Wiki Educator .  The bottom line is they are all making  very good materials available for free. Why? Cause it is the right thing to do.

Over the next several days, I hope to  be blogging the conference from Ghana. Please check back here for updates. I expect this trip will be a wonderful adventure.

May 26, 2008 Posted by | Languages | , , | 1 Comment