Online English Learning 101

February 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

In this day and age, language learning have caught up with modern technologies most especially English. We have Apple products such as iPhone, iPad and Mac books. There is also Amazon’s Kindle. And of course, the vast resources in the Internet and the New Social Media. Combine all of it  with the English language, what will you get? English online. There have been many companies that have taken advantage of this. A lot of companies have opened up online tutoring services that operates internationally and the medium they use? Skype.

How does it really work? Let me give you an overview.

The tutor will apply to the company who will mediate between the client (tutee) and the tutor. Once the tutor has been accepted, he/she will undergo training and assessment. Afterwards, the tutor will have to send her available time according to the company’s available schedule. The tutor will not be endorsed by the company so as it is up to the tutee to choose who he/she wants.

Both the tutee and tutor need Skype accounts. As long as you have Skype accounts, it doesn’t matter if you have the lesson on your iPhone, laptop or any gadget that has the program. The interaction that will take place during the lesson will be highly dependent on the tutee. He/she will be the one to tell the tutor how she/he wants the class to be handled. The tutor’s role is to make sure the tutee learns and understands while having fun during the lesson. The tutee will be given several options; free conversation or article reading for example. In free conversation, the tutor and the tutee will talk just about anything that the tutee recommends or wants. The tutor may correct any grammar slips that the tutee will commit within the conversation. On the article discussion, they tutee will be asked to read an article or the tutee may choose what article to be read. After reading, the tutee and the tutor will discuss the article. The tutor will answer questions the tutee may have. In turn, the tutor will ask questions related to the article to assess the level of comprehension of the tutee.

Basically, it is no different from a normal or face-to-face learning. It may even have more advantages.

At the end of the day…

Nevertheless, learning English on skype is a great experience weighing more benefits than detriments. You will have all the resources at hand. Google is your best friend and there’s no need to reach for a dictionary and flip the pages. With just a click of a button and you’ll see everything you want to know about it. You also have the home advantage; nothing will be more comfortable than learning at your own home. There will be no traffic to hinder and lessen the time of your study.

In addition, having different resources, different materials and different tutors would help you asses yourself in different areas for improvements as everyone else has different expertise. One may notice your accent and the other may note your grammar construction. Since you have the freedom to choose your tutor, you are also responsible to tell them every time your preferences.  At the same time, it also means giving chances to others and gaining perspectives. It also provides anonymity since you have the choice to have a web cam while the lesson is on. It will give chance to save face.

Who knew it was possible to learn English online? More so, learning English on skype. It was hard enough to learn English normally, now it’s online. But no worries, the quality of learning may increase or decrease according to you and your choices.


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Reputation and THEM

September 19, 2010 at 7:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I am someone who doesn’t know the way to the library. Or maybe I know but I choose not to go through that path. 😀 I started going there almost every week since the start of the semester for my thesis. Before, whenever my friends see me there or when I tell them that I’ll go there, they have this surprised look on their face followed by a grin. Another is my thesis topic, it’s about stress. When I mentioned it to them, all I heard after is a loud laugh. I have this reputation of a carefree, go-with-the-flow and stoic person. They know me as someone who doesn’t know what ‘panic’ and ‘stress’ are. The laughter and the surprised face are manifestations of how they think of me. You see, how we are perceived affects the way people deal with us.

That is why reputation should be given utmost importance. It is WHO WE ARE in the minds of the people. Handling reputation is never easy and it will never be especially with NSM around. It is here to stay whether you utilize it or not. Established companies should not be overly confident because the little Oprahs of NSM can shake the grounds they are standing on. Decreasing sales is the least of their worries. Consumers will not just turn their backs on them and stay silent. With NSM on the loose, organizations are bound to fall to pieces. If consumers hate them, they hate them and the damage can reach to a critical hit because that’s how people see them and that’s how they will behave towards them.

Maintenance is the keyword here. Never do things on a whim. Be consistent. Once you post on any NSM platforms, do it continuously. NSM is not only for managing crisis and advertising. It is, and it should be, for creating dialogue and communicating with your consumers. In doing so, always tell the truth. Never create a fake identity to convince customers.

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Let’s get VIRAL!

September 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Let’s ponder on this:

Getting out of control = getting viral?

What does viral mean anyway?

Viral = infectious = easily and readily communicated

In the field of medicine, when a sickness is outta control and easily spreads, it’s a viral disease. Does this also apply to the Web? When we post our viral video, garners views, we can’t contain our happiness. Target audience FTW! Do we know all those who viewed the video? In the first place, does not knowing who viewed and commented on the video means it’s already out of control?

 We have had two viral video projects in our OC152 class. We’ve promoted our video in forums, SNS and blogs among others. Let me say this, not knowing who viewed the video does not mean it’s already out of control. As long as you know your target audience and you directed the promotion of your video to them comprehensively, you are not yet lost. You may not know them personally but at least you know in which category of your list they belong to. Being viral IS being easily and instantly passed on.

 We do not need to know our mutual friends or what path the video went in order to land on their profiles. If you don’t know which direction you are going then maybe it’s time to pull the break and think carefully. Even though we use the word “viral”, we should not be clattered and scattered everywhere. Remember that viral diseases also have their roads and sometimes dead ends are a possibility. How you ask? There are immunizations for some of them and there are people who become immune and unaffected by them naturally. Same goes with the viral videos, people are immune and they tend to ignore some videos.

Simply put, viral videos are “viral” on a specific audience, on a specific niche. It is out of control if the video went somewhere else; by then, go fetch.

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Traditional Media and New Social Media: Best Buds

September 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

With NSM in the picture, where do traditional media come in? We say traditional media is not declining, it’s changing. Right we are! One of the speakers in an advertising seminar I attended said,

“TV is a qualified medium to drive traffic to your digital platform.”

Heard of Sarah Geronimo saying “like us on facebook!” on one of her commercials? That is just one of the ways of using traditional media in support of NSM. These two media should help each other out, not bury the other. One more example is my classmates’ promotion of their viral video (I love the second viral video requirement, isn’t it obvious? :P) they posted the links and taglines of their videos on the bulletin boards around the campus. The digital presence should be aided by visible physical activities and materials.

NSM, in return, helps organizations and companies in spreading awareness of their brands and can also serve as means for advertising their programs and activities. A fanpage on facebook of a TV network company can promote their shows. We no longer choose to practice backing up of TV by print and banners. We go for the cost-efficient methods. We now also have online news articles published by local and international newspapers. Traditional media and NSM are not enemies, they are, in nature, best of friends.

 Media: Old and New

A warning though: what happens in new social media, stays in new social media. If there have been rants, protests and petitions online, it is not advisable to talk about it outside. These should be settled within NSM for those people might find you defensive regarding the issue. Imagine you’re having a dicussion with someone about some of your friend’s not-so-good manners, then she answered those claims in her speech in class. How would you feel? What will you think? Always put in mind what you would feel if you were on the other side before performing your advances.

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5 Minds for New Social Media

September 19, 2010 at 12:42 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Discipline. Synthesizing. Creating. Respectful. Ethical. These are the five minds Howard Gardner talks about in his book Five Minds for the Future. I’ve read this book as a requirement for an OrCom major a year ago. I kept wondering when this future will be until I had my comm trends class. Do we have these five minds now that we use NSM everyday for personal and/or business purposes? Do we need it in the first place? Let’s see.

Disciplined Mind

The very first mind we should develop according to Gardner. We wouldn’t be able to have the other four if we don’t have this. Putting it in the context of new social media, we should be able to master one craft and grasp its ideas very well before we publish content online. Not having so, we might ruin our reputation for commiting errors that are irreversible. Once you posted it, you can never take it back. Not with thousands and even millions of people who have seen it at such a short amount of time. Check.

 Synthesizing Mind

The mind that is very prevalent with NSM. We integrate ideas into one and communicate it to others. We put together things we see from people we are connected to. We are the sum of our networks. What we say is already influenced by not just one but several people who have different ideas and ways of perceiving things. Synthesizing, putting things together, does it ring a bell? Hello there Wikipedia! Check.

 Creating Mind

We like to create. My professor in my OC152 class said that consciously or not, we create content, we contribute on the works of the Web. In addition, what we post is not a repitition of what has been said. Rather, it is the expression of ourselves; we express new insights to issues and problems. We have our own explanation, interpretation and understanding of things. Thinking out of the box. NSM makes it possible for us to voice it out freely and easily. Blogs, microblogs, SNS and forums, anyone? Check.

Respectful Mind

Ah, respect. Such an easy word, so easy we couldn’t spell it out with our lifestyle. The ones who should get a hold of a lot of this are organizations. With everything that they post online, they should be sensitive to differences among groups and individuals. It is not like a whisper where the person who’ll hear the message is the only one you told it to. As I’ve said on my previous blog, you don’t know who’s watching you. Might as well learn to respect inividuality.  Check.

Ethical Mind

We are down on the last one! Wait a minute, respect and ethics, aren’t they the same? No, most especially not in Gardner’s book. Having an ethical mind for him means fullfilling one’s role as a citizen and as a worker. We are responsible for our actions and *ehem* for our posts. We should be able to monitor our behavior online. We represent the company we are in wherever we go and whatever we do. The name’s engine, search engine. Check.

I’m not sure if Howard Gardner pertained to the Internet Generation when he said future. But hey, it fits perfectly well. Right? 🙂

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Targetting the untargetted

September 18, 2010 at 11:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

You, not knowing who is watching might also mean you not knowing who’s writing and talking. Yes, we know that having a target audience is vital. If you don’t have one, then what’s the sense of you doing all those things? Even in simple things such as dressing up and studying. You have someone in mind who will notice you or someone you want to dedicate those to. Sometimes we tend to be focused on some things that we forget to look around us. You get surprised when the people you least expect to greet you suddenly approach you and tell you that you did a great job. You go on a panic and ask “What? Where?” See, you’ll get attention even if it is unintended, even if you didn’t ask for it. We’re talking about actual or physical presence where control is of utmost possibility there. What more on the Internet where you don’t literally see how many eyes are on you?

While you are not sure that ALL your target audience gets the message, you are not also assured that ONLY your target audience will be receiving it.

There are other people and organizations out there looking at you intently. They may not necessarily be hiding; you might not be seeing them because you are blocked by the sight of your target audience. Probably you are thinking, “this is where I could find my target audience, my message will be phrased in which they could be coming into me” but what if there is a guinea pig amongst those hamsters? Surely there will be someone noticing you that are out of your perception’s reach.

“You don’t know who is watching” doesn’t mean that you don’t know each and everyone of the net lurkers; it means that you can’t control the path of your message and that message is leaked to those who should not be getting it. Always be careful of what you say. Never be too confident on your target audience for they are not solid to your categories. As much as you get lost in the maze of a web, people do get lost on which categories they belong to, intentionally or not. Better be ready for the questions and feedbacks of the ears of which you don’t know exist.

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Blogging on my nerves

September 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

It’s the first time I had the eagerness to blog about my experience, maybe this class requirement has gotten on my nerves, that when an idea pops out of my head regarding NSM and even if it’s not related to it (an apple can be an orange, right?), I immediately process it to conceptualize a blog. This is my second one that came out in just one incident. When I think about what I did, my preparations for today and my plans, I have this strong urge to blog about it. I even want to start my own personal blog and make it my first entry. But, I also learned something new and/or realizations came in. So it’s not entirely negative, on the contrary, I’m somehow thankful. As I’ve said on the first one, maybe it’s a gift from above. There’s a reason why this happened, there’s always a reason.

I now know why blogs, statuses and online posts are THE authority. It’s because, emotions are attached to it; it may be subjective but it still deals with the people’s perceptions, the way we see and understand things.

 Again, what is it’s implication to OrCom practice?

  • Since we know the feeling of blogging, we would be able sense the emotions in a blog that we read. It will be somehow easy to tell if what we’re reading is a lie.
  • Most people will not blog without emotions attached to every word that they type. An article in an event will not be posted if it’s not news worthy (news worthy = positive and negative) or mind buggling unless you are paid to do so or you seriously need to get a hobby.
  • Humans will not be humans without logic and, of course, emotions.
  • Some say, NSM can be insincere. Yes, to a certain extent. But we should know that through choice of words and style of writing, given that emoticons are not present, feelings can still be expressed.
  • Humans and interaction are necessary in communication, be it online or offline.
  • We believe what we read because we can relate to it. We have this “he has experienced this and that and wrote about it like what I do/did” mindset when we see something.
  • Therefore, emotions are what drive us but objectivity should still be present. We should be able to weigh these things. Now we know.

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two-hours-of-sleep-due-to-cramming-then-goes-to-school-but-there-was-no-class experience

September 11, 2010 at 9:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

My phone’s battery is dead and my charger is broken. And I’m a cheapskate. I went to school today at around 11.30am to find out that there was no class and the Batch GA was cancelled. I was online until 11am but no sign of any announcement. I have a 1-4pm class. I was too dependent on the ever reliable facebook. It never bothered me to have my phone off, so what? There’s email, facebook and yahoo messenger among others. But today, I learned my lesson. Maybe it’s a gift from above to help me make up with my backlogs because due to what happened, I thought of two blogs and this is the first one.

 What is it’s implication to OrCom practice?

EMPHASIZING the importance of NSM, KNOWING your AUDIENCE and UTILIZING it properly to REACH them and EVALUATE if the message was RECEIVED by most, if not EVERYONE.

Are the forms of social media I use enough to get the information I need at the moment? Can I rely on just the most popular and most used platform? It’s enough, isn’t it?

  • Never create assumptions on your own. You know better than anyone else.
  • Never blame others because of those assumptions; it’s your decision anyway.
  • Keep and use the important ones not the most important one. Never be too confident and too reliant on ONE platform. Remember: the channel is the message.
  • Be responsible on your own. Ask questions. Inform others.
  • Being an audience doesn’t mean waiting to be fed, you need to be proactive. Look for the food yourself. Look for what satisfies you not just what makes you full.
  • As an OrCom student, be more active than passive.
  • Be spontaneous, everything will not go as planned but you have to be flexible enough to cope with the situation.

 Who is my audience? To whom should I communicate? Where to find them? Should I use only one method? Will I reach them using one platform? Will it spread easily?

I’ll look back to the viral video we’ve been making. We know to whom we should promote the video, outlined it properly and even write down the age brackets, genders and social classes. Next is, knowing where to find them. It’s basically impossible to find them in just one place right? Talk about niche. But we know that there is one place where most of them gather but should we ignore the others since we don’t know where they usually stay? I think not, we should target the audience no matter where they are. Though sometimes, we think it’s not our responsibility. And it’ll spread. Yeah. Somehow. What if it doesn’t?

  • Really know who your audience are. Always think of who you’re dealing with. Them instead of me.
  • Feedback is crucial to guarantee if message was sent to people who should receive it.
  • Adapt a “there is more than one place where my target audience will be, I should be everywhere” thinking. But don’t overdo it. Your call.

 Let’s put it in a business setting. If a CEO were to ask for a general assembly and attendance is a must for all board members. What should be done? What should the board members possess? Think it over.

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September 11, 2010 at 8:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Object Constancy, in psychology, is the notion of permanence. When something or someone is out of our sight, we still know it/he exists. When we don’t have a pack of cookies in our house, we know that somewhere inside the supermarket, there is. The problem now is how to pay those. Oh, but we know that somewhere inside our parent’s pocket is cold hard cash waiting to be spent. That’s why we were so loved when we were babies. We don’t have that object constancy. We don’t ask for money when we’re told we don’t have any. Do you remember playing “pick-a-boo!”? Or “Eat…bulaga!”? No matter how many times our parents or caretaker hide their faces with their hands or an object and go “pick-a-boo!” on us, we still continue to be surpised and be amazed. Because for us, we can’t see therefore, they don’t exist.

Well, babies and NSM going well together? You bet! The common denominator is, yes you guessed right, object constancy. Without sight, things don’t exist for babies. That does not hold true on New Social Media and the Internet in general. It might even go like this: with sight, things don’t exist.  We may tell that though we can see it right in front of us, it’s not always true, it’s non-existent.

 Last month, I saw two of my batch mates whom I haven’t seen for quite some time and I suddenly exclaimed to my classmate beside me, “We rarely see those two these past few weeks, maybe they go home straight after their class.” She then proudly said, “They’re in facebook!” Wow. That’s great, I answered, a virtual classmate. What happened to sitting next to each other ranting about how toxic college life is? We simply don’t just know they exist, we also know where to find them, where they are. Even in places where you can’t go physically. No, it’s not heaven people. We’re not talking about spirituality.

 If we don’t know where to point things out, how are we different from a toddler then? We know there are toys inside the house but we can’t say exactly where. Remember, the true test of knowledge today is, knowing where to find who and who to ask what.  We develop object constancy naturally as we grow up but being able to identify the well-informed is a different thing. NSM can guide us with this.

 Organizations should recognize this. They should know where to find resources and where to find unpleasant talks about their companies, especially on the Internet where finding is easy. Also, who to ask for help and who to take care. Same with OrCom people, walking encyclopedias are nice but being acquianted to them is a great thing. Never burn bridges. Know people. As always been said, we are the sum of the people around us. Same goes with our networks, online and offline.

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I Googled You

August 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Cyber Stalking. I’m a professional. I have my sourcesss. No need for cameras to take candid shots. What’s photo grabbing for? One of the best features of New Social Media EVER. 😀

This blog is inspired by our activity in our Comm Trends class last week. You see, this is a very, very delayed post. 😛 Companies are googling us! Aah! I tried it after my professor told us to check our digital footprint. I saw my friendster, multiply and facebook account. The results also showed the most clicked blog of one of my classmates where she had my blog on her blogroll. I just want to say something about this.

If they can google us, we, too, can google them. We’ve been done it before for our internships and case studies but not on the same level as when we will do when we’ll start to apply for a permanent employment after graduation.

For companies, organizations, HR people and corporations, here’s a little something for you:

We know you are googling us. Looking intently at what we’ve been doing for the past N years of our lives just like a stalker does. You should also know that we are googling you too. We can see you in different perspectives and point of views. If you haven’t been listening to the negative things about you, we do. We hear it and we hear it clear. Be careful. But don’t worry too much because we also hear the positive things people are chatting about you (if there are any).

We are an expert in stalking; we see your every move once we take interest in you. When you consider us for a position, it means that you’re interested in us too, right? Then, let’s stalk each other. Let’s see who’ll get the most information. I have to warn you though, what you’ll see is limited to those who know us, to our networks. You may consider it controlled since we can somehow easily ‘repair’ a damage about our reputation. How about you? What we’ll see about you, on the other hand, is not limited to those who know you. Why you ask? When our enemy tells to his/her friends about us, we have a code name so they could talk about us behind our backs. But when a consumer talks about you, they wouldn’t hesitate mentioning your name and telling the whole world how much you suck.

Do you see it now? Consider yourself warned. Your strategy might backfire on you. Not only should we be careful of our digital footprint and online reputation but you as well.Googling are not exclusive to you, it’s not only you who does it. Be aware of it.Take care of yourself, okay? Because we care. 

“You need to know what is being said about you online. Today, all it takes is one enemy to put something anonymously on the Internet and everyone will see it.”

Michael Fertik

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