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Education Policies – A Rant

Just seeing the movie clip from Micheal Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” made me want to more publicly speak out against the bailout policies. One scene in particular was of Micheal Moore putting crime tape along some of the bailout players buildings at Wall Street and asking for “our money back”.

But there are other areas that I would like to speak out on and don’t have much time – until I see my other moms posting on their blogs – then I can join in the fun. I always get inspired reading the posts on Silicon Valley Moms Group (where I am proud to be a co-founder of). Each of the blogs has a category for “education” that always has the latest and greatest education related mom experiences.

I also enjoy reader the personal blogs of the Silicon Valley Moms Group writers. One of the writers from the LA Moms Blog also posted on her personal blog about an experience she just had at her public school: “An Open Letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District“. I read her post and then added a comment which really turned out to be a rant. I know that in reality problems exist in public and private schools, it is important to find the best environment for your child.

This school year has just started but I seem to reading about many situations where school policies were taken too far, especially in consideration of the real problems all schools are currently having to deal with. Problems such as cuts in budgets, layoffs, incorporating technology/technology education, creating an environment where kids with different learning styles are supported, offering inspiring arts/music/science curriculum, and more. Public Education is especially important because it reaches more children, who will be the future of our country. I still believe that investments in kids/education will produce a better return then the other “bailout” programs. I am a strong supporter of President Obama and believe that if any one can do it – he can. But he was handed a big load of problems from the last administration. For now, I will just keep reading and ranting. I hope to find a way in the near future to put my rants to work for the “improve education” cause.

Comment from TechMama on Sweatpants Mom’s post:

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Using Google Translate for Periodismo Ciudadano

Grace D and I have been emailing back and forth about a Spanish blog that picked up our posts on the Mexico Earthquake and Citizen Journalism. We saw the links to the blog “” but initially could not read it until it was translated. I enjoyed my private Spanish lessons many years ago to prepare for business trips to Mexico and Spain. I don’t know if it is my mommy memory or just the amount of time but I have forgotten my Spanish.

So, I used Google Translate to help me translate the posting from Spanish to English. It is very easy:

  • OPTION 2: TRANSLATE TEXT: The field above that is for translating particular text (Translate Text). I used that to translate the name of the blog “” or periodismo ciudadano which I found out is “citizen journalism”.

I was doing this at 11pm at night, sitting in my pajamas reading an amazing Spanish language blog on citizen journalism. The comments/discussion about citizen journalism after the post were so engaging.  I decided to look for a place I can find listings of other foreign language blogs to read. I had the opportunity to travel to world for business, now I can see what interesting people from around the world are thinking, while I am sitting in my pajamas. No business travel required.

Relevant Links:
For those who use Yahoo mail, there is also a translation tool that can be used from Yahoo called Babel Fish. Both Google Translate and Babel Fish are free.

Translation sites can be helpful for to use with your kids for school projects. But be careful, you don’t want to give them an easy way to cheat on their Spanish homework.



Virginia Tech Students Use Web 2.0 to Share Stories

Instead of calling or emailing friends to share my shock of the shootings on the Virginia Tech campus, I found myself using Twitter and blog posts instead. I realized that Web 2.0 technology has become my favored communication medium. 

I was not suprised to see that the Virginia Tech students also favored Web 2.0 technology. MTV News provided a listing of the mediums used by the students including blogs, LiveJournal blog, MySpace (here, here), private pictures on a  Flickr, discussion groups on FacebookFark message board and a collection of e-mails.

There are constant debates about whether technologies like MySpace are safe or not. But this is an example of how those technologies can also be a positive force to help share stories.

Related Blog Posts:

From Techmeme (check the site for a full listing along with related discussion links):

Internet Names The Wrong Killer, Kevin Poulsen from "Threat Level" – Wired Blog Network
Journalists Look to Bloggers for Virgina Tech Story,  by Daniel Terdiman, CNET
Cell Phones Provide Coverage of Virginia Tech Shootings, Bloggers Blog
Moblie Phone Journalism at Virginia Tech, Dan Gillmor – Center for Citizen Media

Other Posts:   

Domestic Violence spurred VT shootings? Update: Red Flags,  BlogHer
Virginia Tech, Facebook, and Online Grieving, Personal Democracy Forum
Are some using hate mongering? Three Despicable Human Beings


Breaking Twitter News, Citizen Journalism and NPR

I just popped into Twitter to see what my Twitteritas were up to, and GraceD had a link to her post on the earthquake in Mexico City. What is interesting about this – is that people broke the story with entries into Twitter. As GraceD calls it “Citizen Journalism 2.0″:

“That this is Citizen Journalism 2.0, a mix of new web social networks
and tools – Twitter, flickr – hooked in with blogs, webcast, chatrooms,
video feeds, and mobile devices. “

All of the social networking and web 2.0 tools are giving ordinary citizens the access to post breaking stories, without delay, spin or editing. I find this type of information the most interesting to read. Some may say that citizen journalism is flawed because it does not go through an editorial process. I say that everyone should get the full story: mainstream news coverage along with the raw information available from citizen journalists community sites (Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Huffington Post, BlogHer) to see what people are really feeling. Or accessing mainstream media that have citizen journalism projects like MSNBC, New York Times and CNN. Along with Wall Street Journal building community with blogs and the interactive reporting of the Washington Post .

This is also a great opportunity to give children a different view of world events. But be careful, some of the information may be too graphic for young kids so it is important to pick and choose what citizen journalism or even mainstream journalism that you share with them.  I do not know what the right age is to let them see the “whole” story. Maybe that should just be something that organically happens when they start asking. My friends with kids in high school said their sons learned many lessons on world events by listening to NPR while commuting to school. Not such a bad idea…..

Links if this leaves you wanting more:

Dec. 2006 providing a history of Citizen Journalism

June 2006 post on The People Formerly Known as the Audience.