Saturday, 17 July 2010

Several Successes

I'm pleased to report several successes this week.  Amongst them:

  1. My PLN is growing!  And already it has borne fruit with good suggestions for basic web browsing and searching coaching materials, thanks to tweeps (cringe! Twitter users) @whatedsaid and @jon_blissenbach. I've found a few more people to follow and more are following me. So right now I have 51 followers and I'm following 97.  That's a staggering increase, up from 14 and 50, ten days ago, and due in no small part by the kind promotion of @whatedsaid, who I mentioned a couple of posts ago.

  2. On Tuesday I travelled by bus and van up to Colombo to renew my visa. It's incredible to think that three months have nearly passed already and there's not a huge amount to show for it, though that's a perpetual theme for all volunteers. With a break in Galle the journey wasn't too bad.  I travelled with the Manager and the Twins Coordinator of AdoptSriLanka, Bec and Jo, and stayed overnight in a flat of one of ASL's trustees.  That helped keep costs down.  The visa renewal itself cost Rs16,000, or about £100.  That's equivalent to a month's room rent!  But the process was fairly painless - no questions asked at all - though it was the usual story of having to go from one desk to another to another for signatures, approvals, paying and passport stamping.  It was great to get it and not to have to quit my job early.

    After a spot of shopping and picking up a bargain shirt at Odel's, we were off again.  The good thing about it was that the bus started in Colombo so we had the choice of the seats.  Can't remember if I mentioned it before but I've now found the best row to sit in - just opposite the rear door, where the legroom is greatest (but where the aisle becomes the most packed - just don't sit in the aisle seat or you risk having someone's crotch in your face! Not Nice!)  The six-hour ride back to Tangalle was pretty ghastly with the usual viscous accelerating, braking, swerving, blasting of horns and so on, but I survived.  Knackered but alive. Having a window seat helped greatly with the travel sickness.

  3. Thirdly, the computer coaching I've been giving has taken off, with four teachers on Thursday and another four on Friday.  However, despite telling them the times of the sessions, they arrived at whatever suited them - it must be part of the SL mentality that they could just turn up whenever and think they'd be welcome! They started to understand when I pointed out my timetable so hopefully the situation will improve next week.

    Eight teachers out of the scheduled fifteen came.  That's got to be better than Monday's one out of eight!  I'm beginning to get a measure of the range of abilities and hopefully I'll be able to group similarly-abled teachers together.  Perhaps I'm being a bit over-optimistic, actually. It's proving quite tricky to timetable everyone to suit their individual predilections.  But we're getting there!


  1. You are off to a terrific start, and your PLN, while small, is outstanding. @whatedsaid is a brilliant thinker on education issues. For search coaching materials, may I suggest our Ten Steps to Better Web Research, here: We will create videos relating to these for all school levels this fall.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Mark. And thanks for the link - your material looks just the job!

  3. Hi Clive. Great that you've extended your PLN - I'm sure that as it grows even more you'll find your learning experiences will become even richer. It's always good to see who your contacts are following or connecting with themselves as that's a fairly good sign that they're worth a follow too! @whatedsaid is someone who inspires and challenges me on a regular basis.

  4. Hi Pam. Thank you for dropping by and commenting. Makes blogging worthwhile, somehow! Yes, I think I have some quality contacts in my PLN, and it's still growing! I appreciate them all. Cheers, Clive