Sunday, April 01, 2007

Know Any Informal Learning Bloggers in the Arab Region? Na'am? Shukran!

Lizzie and I are here at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria), in Egypt with our colleague Rania, who works in our Amman office. We are here planning a workshop on new learning (formal and informal) for sustainable development in the Arab region this September. We are going to be inviting some Universities who are developing and delivering e-learning courses in the region (on our topic of environment and development) and will also be inviting people who are using informal learning tools (like blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc.) to foster learning on this topic in the region.

We were delighted to hear today about how the library is a great forum, source of inspiration and an experimentation space. The senior staff member that we spoke to told us that it was "born digital" and as a result is encouraging students to help their professors enter the internet age, from offering to put their lecture notes into PowerPoint to engaging them in internet-based chats, and more. The learners are helping their teachers to help them learn. We are interested to know how Web 2.0 is supporting these efforts to enhance learning across the board in this region.

Rania told us this morning about a Jordanian blogger who is writing about environment and development news in the region. This blogger says that, "Blogging has became a highly effective and free expression medium that is spreading all over the Arab world. Amongst thousands of blogs in the Arab World very little focus can be found on environmental issues. " We have already found some bloggers who are talking about this topic, like him. That is however just one part of our search...

Does anyone know any Arab region bloggers who are writing about formal and informal learning? We would be happy to know about them too!

Getting Back in Shape: Blogging and Jogging

Draft one (late February):

So, I’m sitting on the train this morning; the air is cool, sky clear, and I’m enjoying the aroma of a pain au chocolat that I’ve just bought, asking myself – At what point did I slip back into this naughty habit? And I realize that it was just about the same moment that I slipped out of other good habits, such as writing my blog posts or going for a run. Broken routine!

Draft two (today):

About three weeks later, I’m in a hotel room in Alexandria, Egypt. I haven’t posted anything on our blog in weeks and I decide it’s finally time to get back in shape. I’m a little reticent having not been exercising my blog-writing skills recently. The thoughts don’t translate into words quite as nimbly, just like that first sluggish jog after an indulgent, feasting holiday period. I know that there will be a feel good factor at the end; that the next time I jog / blog it will be that little bit easier; that the nimbleness will return as the muscles are trained for these workouts and re-learn the fluency that comes with practice. So here goes, time for that first step back into blogging. And time to reconnect with my blogging friends to help me along the way…