Sunday, March 04, 2007

On further reflection...

After yesterday's post, which was written in haste after the long drive home and before I'd eaten, I felt I ought to enlarge slightly on my theme and sound rather less curmugeonly than I did. I am so aware at these gatherings that I have barely scratched the surface of technology, and that I have no more interest in knowing how an application works than I have in the bowels of my car. All I want is for it to work and fulfil some need in my life. But once I have found (or been shown, more like) such an application, I do have the skills to make other people like me enthusiastic, and this is what I felt was needed yesterday - unless, of course, a meeting of like minds means it's ok to mumble in a monotone because everyone'll be interested anyway.

Perhaps that's the problem. Current technology - and this'll be out of date even as I say it - enables global mass communication on a scale no-one could have dreamed of ten years ago. You don't need to talk to someone if you text them, or use IM, or post photos. Many blogs are not particularly well written, but if they contain info which you need you overlook the comma-splice and other unpleasantness. Unless you're someone like me, or my friend abf who comments in this parish. And people like me need to be brought on board, convinced that this is all good and useable stuff - and you don't want to put them off by inarticulate mumbling. Nor do you want to blind them with geekery, because for us arty-farty types it's a bit of a turn-off.

So come to the point, huh? I suppose it's this: everyone can't be as specifically gifted as some of the people I saw yesterday. But the skills which would complement such gifts, skills like being audible and audience-aware, can be learned, and there are people around who can teach them.

Let's hear it for Demosthenes!


  1. Anonymous4:25 PM

    Can't hear a word he is saying for all those pebbles in his mouth...

  2. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Hi Chris,
    'Many blogs are not particularly well written, but if they contain info which you need you overlook the comma-splice'

    I think my blog possibly falls into this category :( I am the first to admit that spelling and Grammar are not my forte. However, I feel that my feedback to others is always well received.

    Tess :)

  3. Given that I spend a fair bit of my working life talking and always have (teaching, then preaching) and have recieved no training whatsoever in it since high school (no wait -- there was a 90 minute seminar once...) it doesn't surprise me that techies struggle. Another mission for you, Christine?

  4. Anonymous6:54 PM

    I agree with you on this one Chris. I am very enthusiastic about blogging, social technologies etc, but it only takes a brief conversation in the classroom/family gathering/parents night to realise that many people view it with suspicion/apathy/derision.
    The inability to communicate with those people will slow down the progress and success of this exciting new field. It's a luxury we can't afford. Unless of course, we are happy for it to remain a minority sport...

  5. Tess, I think you're being unduly modest: not a comma-splice in sight! And what's more, you have a revolving cube of photos to distract the admiring reader.....

    Kimberly, you know fine well you have nothing to learn from me! Enough of this: we're all wonderful.

  6. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Hey Chris,

    I don’t think I am being 'unduly modest'. With a 3 at SG and a C at Higher English, I have always struggled when writing. It doesn’t help me that I have two parents who contently bring this to my attention!

    Thanks for your encouraging comment.

    I guess I have developed into a bit of a 'Grammar-phobic' blogger since I began my web-page.

    Tess :)

  7. What's a, comma-splice Miss?

    I had a good look around Ewan's blog today and loved what I found. His podcast on his '10 factors in change' is great and seems applicable to any teaching environment from a classroom setting to a youth group. I've given him a link from my wordpress blog Click the link in the blogger one)

    Good to see your weans doing well!


  8. Stewart - "comma-splice" is what you call it when you use a comma where there ought to be a full stop. It then splices together two sentences which really ought to stand by themselves. We used to call them all "run-on sentences", but this is such a neat expression. Like "grammetric" lines in poetry - another newish one (for me, anyway) on which I fell with glad cries.

  9. Ah, the run-on sentence, I have a vague recollection of you going mental at our higher English class on that very topic, those where the days! LOL

    I have to agree that comma-slice is a much better term.

  10. totally unrelated Chris, but could you drop me an email - my mail address is on my homepage.