Home > Audio, Classes, UGC > Lorna and the Learners

Lorna and the Learners

Community Gaelic classes continue to meet in Berneray. One group is led by Alison Dix, and they are keen to meet and talk with local residents who are fluent speakers. Below you can hear edited highlights of a conversation held with Lorna MacKillop. The learners prepared thoroughly for the meeting by drawing up a list of questions to ask Lorna. The list of questions is here: Ceistean airson Lorna.

With Lorna’s agreement they then recorded their conversation. This has provided them with a lot of listening material for subsequent lessons, as they will be able to go over every aspect of the chat they had. The recording posted here gives just a taste of Lorna’s beautiful Berneray Gaelic, and the treats in store for the learners in the weeks ahead. Click on the image below to hear the conversation.

(Classes organised by CE Bheàrnaraigh with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s scheme for Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd.)

Categories: Audio, Classes, UGC
  1. Loriana Pauli
    13/02/2012 at 11:15 am

    I think this is a wonderful example how creative teaching / learning can be.

  2. 13/02/2012 at 12:49 pm

    This is a beautifully implemented and seamless way of utilising completely open source technology to provide an online learning environment.

    In fact there are five different infrastructures at work to make the mix. Email, comment returns, blogs, a phlog platform and audio. Get it wrong and you have a pig’s ear. Get it right, and you will be seeing open source technology developed at its very best.

    From my mailbox, there is a clear pathway to the material and two clicks later I am in a language learning environment that is engaging, simple to understand and transparent.

    Honest. I have seen technical development teams paid shedloads of money to create learning environments that simply don’t work because they don’t understand learning environments, the sacrosanct nature of the teaching and pupil relationship, or for that matter people.

    Honest. I sometimes have to work with people who are paid £600 a day to code these kinds of development. Often sadly, after they have pocketed vast sums of company, organisation or Government money, no-one is any the wiser.

    I have seen a number of such projects. I could name web companies that have been involved in developments and deployments to the tune of £50.000+ which have been scrapped because they are useless, painfully and expensively useless.

    Here we see something that has been grown from the grassroots. Technically it is much more sophisticated than it appears and, most importantly, it works.

    It should have a name. I will give it a name. It is cut and crafted like peat as an online resource. ‘The Peatbog Story’, explains how nearly the entire peat supply of a typical household could be cut in one day. This was a tradition that went back hundreds, possibly thousands of years, providing a vital part of the fabric of a local community with sustainability in terms of roofing, insulation and warmth.

    Here we see the 21st century equivalent in terms of technical thinking, using cutting edge tools in an intelligent, sophisticated, highly practical development and deployment. This is sustainable learning.

    I honestly believe that such use of technology at this level could only have come out of some grassroots project, away from the mainland of open source development, and the perception that things can only be coded, plugged in and integrated down well established tracks.

    I name this method of working, developed in the Western Isles of Scotand, peatphlogging.

    I believe, honestly, that it can inform debate in education circles across Europe about how cutting edge radical learning enviroments can be developed online.

    I am not sure if anyone has considered this project for a prestigious Webby Award in the UK, Perhaps it is time that this project was nominated.

    Absolutely on the button.

    The developers of this project have every right to feel immensely proud of this work and it is time that this way of working with the web was promoted loud and clear across as many channels as is practicable.

    Many many congratulations to the development team behnd this project. I have just seen the future of language learning online, and it works.

    Simon Montgomery
    Winner ‘Civic Voice UK Developer of the Year 2010’ Award

  3. 14/02/2012 at 9:40 am

    Simon – Mark here (one of the ipadio founders), thanks for this – sometimes at the start of the day when I have various full reports to write and things to sort – reading such a message raises my spirits no end. As for peatphlogging – love it! So thanks!

  4. Gordon Wells
    14/02/2012 at 1:36 pm

    Simon’s comment perhaps deserves a post of its own :-). Encouraging words, much appreciated. If I may dissent only slightly it would simply be to say that we are no technical sophisticates. We just drive what the Ipadio, YouTube, WordPress and other mechanics put together without ever looking under the bonnet. Switching metaphors, this kind of operation is within the grasp of anyone who cares to “learn the language”. That’s why, in the next phase, our aim is to spread this way of working out from project staff to any community member with an interest. Watch this space…

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