Saturday, 19 December 2009

Blogs as education and communication tools

I keep encouraging people to blog. For Indonesians, blogging would ask them to write, to put things in their head into writing. Putting our opinions in writing means that we need to think it out, searching for the right words, and in the end enhancing our capability in pouring out our ideas, our feelings, and our needs. Once people realized that they can write, they will keep writing and it will help open the communication gate.

For professionals, blogging is sharing. It opens the universal world into a flat media. Communications between continents are made easier. It will also be more profitable for one's professional's life as long as he/she can use it wisely.

I'd like to write a short note about some blogs here:

Blog Bahtera is a blog from professional translators and those who care about Bahasa Indonesia (so it consists writings in Bahasa Indonesia). It was started as a mailing list, and since June 2009 the coordinator also created its own community blog. Communication is better off through the mailing list. If you do need urgent help in translating a word or a sentence, you'd prefer to be engaged in a quick conversation in the mailing list. Yet, I'm not really blessed with those precious time to keep updating myself with all letters from the mailing lists I subscribe. So, I really appreciate the existence of this blog. I'm now able to come by as a fellow blogger just like a neighbour can come and visit other friends in the neighbourhood. The great aspect of the internet is that we don't need to bother our visiting time. It can even be at midnight if that's the only time available or convenience with our daily time schedule.

This blog is a nice melting pot of experiences, a crossroad of multinationals who care about Bahasa Indonesia. It is also serving as an "encyclopedia" of wisdom transferred from seniors to juniors (it's not necessarily in term of age, but more into professional experiences).

I would also like to mention a blog made by my eldest son's science teacher, IPA Menyenangkan (Science is fun). She tries to put her lessons in a blog, knowing that some of her students are not good in taking notes in her classroom but they have great talents in internet surfing (ehm...I know one of them very well!). She told me that she is asking her students to keep an eye on her blog, give her input either in beautify her blog (for those internet techie) or in adding the content (surely for those who find taking scientific notes and writing it out as an interesting homework). Being a full time teacher and a homemaker with kids she has limited time to blog, but it is great if she can make her students interested in helping her with her blog. She can be the editor of the content, and those kids should try to write on their own, not only copying and pasting information from other blogs.

Yet, the best news I've got is from my friend, Jacob Gautel, who is now sharing his artistic journey in his website. First I've met Jacob through his "Maria Theodora" project supported by CCF (French Cultural Center), an art project that is inline with his quest for his Indonesian root. His quest for completing his family tree evoked some odd feeling for my own "denial" of my Chinese ancestral root. I was also joined his workshop in Singapore. I think we've just met several times before the monetary crises came, the May riot happened (I remembered that he; the one who didn't really keen in answering e-mails, had telephoned me asking for my family situation. A simple call that was like an oasis in the middle of the chaos). Afterward I saw parts of his works through the magic of Mr. Google, or through his participation in other art exhibitions without his presence here. Now having his own presentation of complete works in his web is like exploring another part of his artistic journey.

I hope that we can really use blogs as education and communication tools. It can be a way to educate people about democracy or enriching our knowledge, supporting our creativity (not killing it by doing plagiarism) and starting a communication aiding to a better and peaceful world.

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