Livebloggin’ and Women’s Literacy

Not me.  That would be the creator of the WE LEARN blog and the UMass students who are working the conference.  The liveblogging idea has always seemed a little funny to me, left me kind of wondering why, wondering if insta-blogging was really necessary.  Of course, now that I want more people to know about WE LEARN, to know about the conference, to get how warm and welcoming and fabulous we are, liveblogging sounds like God’s own brilliant idea.

You can check out what happened today and leave questions or comments of your own at the WE LWEARN blog.

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Today the students from my program presented their workshop. They were perfectly placed — in the first block of workshops — so they could present and then have the rest of the day to relax and enjoy themselves. They were nervous, but the workshop was great.  They had a good turn out and some very enthusiastic participants (thank you to the learner who kept encouraging the presenters by calling out, “Good stuff,” whenever she heard something that resonated with her).  It was such a pleasure for me to see them interacting with other participants, see them choosing which workshops they wanted to attend, see them really just settling in and being so comfortable all day.

At 5:00, we had our 5th annual reading of student writing from our Women’s Perspectives journal.  The readings were powerful, but even better was the support from the audience for the shy, the nervous and the emotional readers.  There were tears and a lot of cheers.

Our hotel was nice enough to give us use of the ballroom for the evening for whatever we wanted … and we took advantage.  The ladies from Belize danced, and got us dancing.  The ladies from my program danced (in costume) and got us dancing.  There was singing, there was poetry, there was stand-up comedy.  I think I feel a new WE LEARN tradition starting!

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Check out the rest of the slices of life over at Stacey and Ruth’s.

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6 thoughts on “Livebloggin’ and Women’s Literacy

  1. The sheer joy/pride of watching your students present their workshop must be amazing. I bet your cheeks hurt from so much smiling! Open use of a ballroom? Now that sounds like a fun evening! I agree, “WE LEARN and We Live” (feel free to come up with something better) should become tradition. What a fantastic event.

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    1. The hotel was so great with us, giving us excellent service and all kinds of perks. Giving us the ballroom was pretty over and above, but wonderfully nice. And I like WE LEARN and We Live! Have to keep that in mind for next year. I have a feeling we started a new tradition Friday night!

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    1. It was so much fun! And I loved that it was mostly learners in the room and such a great mix of people in terms of languages, countries of origin, education … Just a really special evening.

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  2. Blogging and using the Internet as tool and networking resource is sorely underused by people of color.

    I read your blog and the topic points on access and safety. While I agree these are real barriers, our mindset about technology and the Net is also a barrier.

    I formed Color Online in a physical space with the intent of building an online presence. It was very difficult and with the lack of resources next to impossible to get my group to embrace the technology and the web.

    I’m still dreaming and pushing to get young people of color to learn to harness the power of online communication to make their voices heard.

    Sorry to go off on the tanget but like one of my friends who is a former teacher turned media specialist in the school, I know we are failing our students when we fail to make the connection between literacy and technology.

    Glad to hear things are going well.

    Let’s talk about how we can promote We Learn.

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    1. I think what you’ve said about harnessing the power of online communication is key. My students use the internet all the time … but not in ways that are particularly useful or helpful or productive. I’m still hoping to harness the crazy-energy of my students and channel it into some online writing.

      WE LEARN is still very much at the beginning stages of using the internet for outreach and providing resources. I’d love to see our site develop into much more than it is now, and would love to see students using it as much or more than instructors and researchers do.

      And I’m always saying, “Let’s talk about this soon,” and then getting so busy that I don’t have a chance to contact you. I really would like to continue this conversation off-blog, however, so I’m going to email you when I get home tonight!

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