Monday, July 16, 2018

Peace in Libya? Reconciliation?

Libya has been in a continual state of unrest for over 7 years. How can Libyans find peace? How can Libya move forward? What are some ways that Libyans can reconcile with one another?

I've been playing around with different online ideas for my students and came across Padlet, which is a kind of online idea board that people can work on together to collaborate ideas and information. Collaborators do not have to register to read or add to a page. I decided to see if Padlet would work as a forum for people to post their thoughts and ideas about the current situation in Libya. There is a lot of discussion about Libya on Facebook and Twitter, but I wanted to see if I could get as many ideas all in one place - and with Padlet's platform the posts would be anonymous. Even the creator of the Padlet page cannot see the identity of the people who post. I thought this was important because it's not about whose idea it is, but about the idea itself. 

Padlet is easy to use. If you want to contribute you just click on the (+) in the lower right corner, double click anywhere on the page, or drag and drop to the page. If you click on the three dots  in the corner of a post ... you'll find a menu that lets you post in a variety of ways: by comment, uploading files, adding links, searching Google, taking or adding photos, videos, voice recording, drawing, adding a map or linking to other Padlets.



 Thoughts and ideas can be linked together with a line and arrow connecting the posts. 



Padlets can be shared and embedded in blog posts and websites (like below). You can contribute to the discussion below, or go to the link directly: 


How can Libyans reach reconciliation?
Read what others have posted. Post your own thoughts and ideas. 
Remember to be constructive and respectful.


Made with Padlet

Sunday, July 01, 2018

I Can't Stop Blogging

(C) Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano @ langwitches

I've had this blog for almost 14 years. The past few years, posts have been sporadic, but I still manage to post from time to time. As of today there have been 646,178 page views. I've noticed that I seem to have about 4,500 visitors to my blog on an average month. If I post something controversial or intriguing the numbers will shoot up. The most read post is A Very Important Guest Post, closely followed by a post I wrote in 2008 titled Old Wive's Tales.  

The popularity of blogging seems to have dropped as people find themselves absorbed by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but from time to time there is a resurgence. I'm always so pleased when I find new blogs by Libyans. Last week I had an email from a young Libyan girl named Mariya who wrote to say she was 12 years old and was starting her own website. She also said that she was the daughter of one of my students. When her father read her website he suggested that she read my blog. She wrote to tell me that she found my blog inspiring and that by reading it she had learned a lot of new vocabulary. She asked me if I could give her some tips she could use to help attract readers to her site. 

To be honest, I was really thrilled to receive an email from her, and I was especially happy to know she was the daughter of one of my former students. It's kind of nice to know that my teaching lives on in the next generation. I emailed her back and gave her some tips. Then I decided to post the tips here on my blog. Here is the advice I gave her:
  • Don't write posts that are too long - people like to read something that won't take much time. 
  • Post often. It will keep people coming back for more. (I need to heed my own advice!)
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. Add pictures to create interest.
  • Encourage comments... ask your readers a question or what their opinion is (but don't expect them to have the same opinion that you have)
  • Share your links on social media - create a Facebook page or a Twitter account for your blog
  • Link to other things in your blog, but make sure the settings opens the link in a new tab so your page wont close.
  • Have a guest post something on your blog (my most popular post is a guest post)
  • Write about things that interest you and share your link with people who share the same interests
  • Blogger has a feature that allows you to look at your site statistics. You can also add other stat counters. I like http://www.statcounter.com
  • Check to make sure your grammar and spelling are correct. 
  • Use thesaurus.com to help you find just the right word.


Have you found any Libyan blogs or Libyan related blogs that aren't on my Link List? Let me know in the comments.