Wednesday 27 July 2011

How to attend RSCON3 e-conference. All you need to know!

With the RSCON fast approaching, there are some of you still unsure about whether to attend perhaps because you've never attended an online conference before. Here is a basic tutorial to help convince you.

It's very easy. There's no hidden cost - it is absolutely free. No spam, no ads, no tricks.

First of all, take a look at the schedule. The schedule is a Google document, so you do need a Google account to be able to access it. Note: if you have a gmail, you already have a google account. You don't have to have a gmail to have a google account; you can use your existing email to apply for a google account - the choice is yours. The schedule looks like this:

RSCON3 2011 Schedule

Select your time zone. For example, if you're in London or in the Canary Islands, click on UTC+1, and you'll get another link. Click on this.

RSCON3 2011 Schedule

This will bring you the document which will list all the sessions in your time zone, thanks to Clive Elsmore.

RSCON3 2011 Schedule

Look through the schedule, take note of those you can attend. On the day itself, you'll have to click on the link in the column, 'Webinar Link'. Be early. Give yourself time to settle in, to check your configuration, to learn how to manage the icons, etc.

RSCON3 2011 Schedule

RSCON3 will be run on ELLUMINATE platform. Although Elluminate is now Blackboard Collaborate, it will not affect RSCON3. When you click on the webinar, you'll be asked for a session login name. Do use a name as this is how you will be addressed. Presenters sometimes address you directly, especially if you have a question to ask. When you've put your name, you'll be asked to download a very small file. This is necessary. Save it somewhere easily accessible. It will execute Java to bring you into the room. If you haven't got Java in your computer, you can download it here.

RSCON3 2011 Schedule

RSCON3 2011 Schedule

RSCON3 2011 Schedule
RSCON3 2011 Schedule

Run the downloaded file (double click it). You will then be taken to the room of the session. This is how it looks like. When you come into the room, you may be asked if you would like to download a file - this would be the presenter's slides. Say no. Once you're in the room, say hello to everyone, and join in the fun!

RSCON3 2011 Schedule

I hope that everything is now clear. If there's anything you still don't understand, all you need to do is ask! Hope to see you there! Fri 29th July - Sun 31st July. My session's on Sat 30th July, 19:00 BST (UTC+1).

Friday 22 July 2011

RSCON3: 3rd Reform Symposium e-Conference 29th - 31st July 2011

In a few days, about 8000 educators from over 40 different countries are expected to attend a free 3-day virtual conference, The Reform Symposium, #RSCON3. This award-nominated e-conference is going to take place on 29-31 July 2011. Participants can attend this online conference from the comfort of their homes or anywhere that has Internet access. This amazing conference provides all educators, be they new or currently active on social networks, the opportunity to connect with other teachers and professionals in the field of education worldwide. With over 12 Keynote speakers, 80 presenters, and 3 keynote panel discussions, you are bound to be inspired!

I'd like to thank the incredible organizers - Shelly Terrell, Kelly Tenkely, Chris Rogers, Lisa Dabbs, Melissa Tran, Clive Elsmore, Mark Barnes, Ian Chia, Cecilia Lemos, Jerry Blumengarten, and Kyle Pace - and Steve Hargadon of Classroom 2.0, The Future of Education, EdTech Live, etc. for making this incredible conference possible.

Saturday 9 July 2011

Lie or lay? How to remember these nasty words?

No doubt, these words are among the most problematic for a lot of people, myself included! Pop music only serves to make things worse; just as groups like The Beatles singing "She's got a ticket to ride, but she don't care" doesn't help learners with the third person singular verb, Eric Clapton's "Lay down Sally" and Bob Dylan's "Lay lady lay" don't help us with lay and lie.

What not many people realise, however, is that don't was a standard contracted form of does not until the early 20th century, and is still being used today in some parts of Britain by the British (not by foreigners in case you were thinking that) in spite of it being grammatically incorrect. Since when does colloquialism bother about grammar, right?

Similarly lay being used intransitively (I'll explain shortly) instead of lie is frowned upon, but, according to Merriam-Webster, has been used since the 14th century, and was accepted until the late 1700s, when attempts were made to correct the misuse. Just as don't for third person is being used colloquially now, so is lay instead of lie.

All that aside, you're here to learn the right forms, correct? So, let us take a look.

This is a transitive verb, meaning it needs an object: we lay someone or something down, we can lay a table, and birds lay eggs.

Remember that both Dylan & Clapton were using it 'incorrectly'.

This is an intransitive verb, meaning it doesn't need an object: we lie on the bed, Sally lies on the grass next to me. For other meanings, click on the heading above.

We also have the phrasal verbs 'lie in - lay in - lain in' meaning to stay in bed for longer than usual, and 'lie down - lay down - lain down' meaning the same as lie. So, we can say we lie on the bed or we lie down on the bed.


This is a regular verb, meaning to say something that is not true: she's always lying about her age, why did you lie to me?