Family Literacy in Canada: What it means in terms of Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Learning

September 24, 2011

In March I was invited to speak on a Family Literacy Panel at the National Metropolis Conference. The conference focused on “the role of immigration in connecting Canada with the rest of the world.” Our panel looked like this:

Family Literacy and the New Canadian

Description: This Workshop will bring together a panel of language experts from across Canada that will outline the importance and value of heritage / international languages and illustrate how schools, academics, community organizations and government policies can assist in maintaining and developing the multiple literacies of all Canadians.

Organizer | Organisateur
Bernard Bouska, Canadian Languages Association
Khatoune Temisjian, Québec Heritage Languages Association / Association québécoise des langues d’origine

Participants

Sarah Eaton, University of Calgary
Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Learning: The Case of Literacy, Essential Skills and Language Learning in Canada

Maria Makrakis, TESOL International and International Languages Educators’ Association (ILEA), Ontario
Language and Literacy for New Canadian Families

Constantine Ioannou, Government of Ontario
Ontario Schools and Communities Can Reflect the Languages of our Families

Khatoune Temisjian, Québec Heritage Languages Association / Association québécoise des langues d’origine
Literacy and Heritage/international Languages in Quebec: An Overview

Michael Embaie, Southern Alberta Heritage Languages Association (SAHLA)
Successful Implementation of Heritage / International Language Programs in Canada: Selected Strategies and Case-Studies

Chair | Modérateur
Marisa Romilly, Society For The Advancement of International Languages (SAIL British Columbia)

Discussant | Commentateur

Bernard Bouska, Canadian Languages Association

I promised to post the paper once it was available. It’s now been archived in the ERIC database. Download a copy here.

__________________

Share this post: Family Literacy in Canada: What it means in terms of Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Learning http://wp.me/pNAh3-TD

Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


6 Things You Probably Didn’t know About Social Media and the WWW

September 23, 2011

Did you know…?

In 1978 authors Roxanne Hiltz and Murray Toroff envisioned a future in which computer-mediated communication (CMC) would have a major effect on people’s every day lives. Their book,”The Network Nation”, is published by MIT Press in Cambridge, MA. It has been updated and revised since its original printing and is now considered a classic book in the field of CMC.

In 1992 the World Wide Web was officially launched to the public. (Can you believe that the Web is only 20 years old?!)

In 1997 SixDegrees was established as the first social networking site that most resembles the sites we use today, but users were skeptical and reluctant to interact with strangers. The company was sold in 2000 and today many people believe that the original company was too ahead of its time.

LinkedIn was created in 2002 and publicly launched in 2003 (before Facebook!)

In 2004 Facebook was launched.

Two years later, in 2006, Twitter was launched.

______________

Share this post: 6 Things You Probably Didn’t know About Social Media and the WWW http://wp.me/pNAh3-Qi

Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Social media: A catalyst for revolt and revolution

September 22, 2011

Protesters shout anti-government slogans during a protest in Suez, Egypt., AP

In January of this year, Egyptian activist turned to Facebook to increase awareness and invite participation in public protests held in the streets of major cities there. People from around the world watched with both horror and curiosity and the events in Egypt unfolded. It was the first time (as far as I know) that social media had been used on such a large scale to promote political and social protests. But it was not the last.

Here is just one example of a news article about how Egyptian activists used Facebook to inform, educate and invite support. Social media has become a force for social change… And not just in Egypt.

Over 3600 Air Canada flight attendants are reportedly participating in a Facebook page (limited to Air Canada employees) to vent their anger at the company, as well as union leaders who are representing them in current negotiations.  That’s over half of all the flight attendants who work for the company, who are spread out across the country. Sixty percent (60%) of the company’s pilots have joined a private website, limited only to pilots, to dialogue on related issues. (Check out the news story here).

Management and the union at Air Canada are in the middle of talks to negotiate a new contract. It is reported that a six-page letter written by Susan Welscheid, Air Canada’s senior vice-president of customer service, sparked a wave of rage among the company’s workers, causing them to join the Facebook group and vent their frustrations.

The employees voted last month on a new contract. Eighty eight per cent (88%) of unionized flight attendants members who cast ballots rejected the contract, one that had been endorsed by their  negotiating team. By way of a comparison, less than 60% of Canadians voted in the 2008 federal election. Canadians tend to be a bit of an apathetic lot when it comes to voting in anything, really. Getting 88% of a Canadian group out to vote on something is startling in and of itself, really.

Union leaders and management say they are floored by the Facebook outburst, saying that it is making negotiations difficult.

So what do the cases in Egypt and Canada have in common? We can see some commonalities, as both groups

  • chose Facebook pages as their medium
  • united people who are spread out across a nation
  • gave voice to a group who felt that those who were supposed to represent and protect them were not fulfilling their responsibilities
  • created a space for people to express anger and talk about what actions to take
  • sparked interest by the media by the very fact that they used (and continue to use) social media as a catalyst for change, driven by the people themselves

The use of social media as a social force to rally ordinary citizens joined by a common cause, ready and willing to fight for something they believe in — seems to be a growing phenomenon. My guess is that we’ll continue to see social media used by people for causes, concerns and as a catalyst for change.

_______

Share this post: Social media: A catalyst for revolt and revolution http://wp.me/pNAh3-Te

Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Lifelong Learning (life map)

September 19, 2011

I’ve given a number of presentations this year on formal, non-formal and informal learning and how these concepts relate to lifelong learning, literacy and adult education. Here’s an infographic on how the average North American (if there is such a thing) might experience these three contexts for learning throughout their lifetime.

View this document on Scribd

Download your own .pdf copy here: Characteristics of Non-Formal Learning (.pdf)

Related posts:

____________

Share this post: Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Lifelong Learning (life map) http://wp.me/pNAh3-SQ

Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Ser vs. Estar demystified in a rap song

September 17, 2011

This one is dedicated to all my Spanish students over the years. Here are the basics of ser vs. estar, explained in a rap song. Clever, entertaining and grammatically correct. What more could you want?

___________________

Share this post: Ser vs. Estar demystified in a rap song http://wp.me/pNAh3-T4

Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


%d bloggers like this: