Pardon my ethnocentrism!

I think it’s time to have my ethnocentrism surgically removed. It is getting in the way of my ability to communicate effectively!

Actually, I’ve recently had two pleasantly humbling experiences that serve to remind what it means to be a digital citizen in this postmodern world. My new virtual stomping grounds are truly global. (Click on the link for an explanation of the English idiom. You see, I’m learning!)

First, I experienced some confusion playing with the Tapped In calendar. (Tapped In is an international online community for learning and networking between educators and their students.) I had the calendar open in two windows in my browser, and for some inexplicable reason the same event appeared to be on two different days, depending on which window I viewed. So, I shot off an email to the event facilitator asking her to clarify the date. The facilitator explained that the date depended on where I lived. It is on Thursday for those who live in my time zone; it is on Friday for her, as she lives in Australia.

Lesson: always check to see if the time converter at the top of the Tapped In calendar is set to your time zone!

Along those same lines, my new favorite web gizmo is the time converter at, which is integrated into the K-12 Online Conference schedule. I love how each time I open the time converter to check on a conference event, a different international location appears in the drop-down menu — Lesotho; Bahia, Brazil; Novgorod, Russia; and so on. It’s fun to scroll through the menu looking for East Tennessee among all the world locales.

My next encounter occurred only yesterday when a new contact at the Ning in Education network asked me to clarify a reference I made to a friend in Georgia. You see, he is based in Istanbul and has friends in Georgia, Eastern Europe. To which “Georgia” was I referring?

Oh. My.

It’s good to be jolted out of my U.S-centered stupor! Now, on to learning all those pesky international spellings!

And that’s what I think.

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5 Responses to “Pardon my ethnocentrism!”

  1. 1 Verne 24 October, 2007 at 6:30 am

    Is there a website, a blog, something for old gezzerettes, who find it a miracle they know how to turn a computer on? Now I have to think about time zones, and such things is it a state or a country, or both and where are they. This making life fun, but also more complicated. Keeps the brain juices flowing, which at my age might not be so bad. Any way thanks for sharing all this latest information. I think I will have to noodle around with it. All of this just goes to show what a shrinking world we have and how we are all sisters and brothers no matter where we live and how interdependent we have become. We are no longer just isolated entities and what we do in one place effects us all, and that instead of taking days or weeks or months for information and news to travel it now does in a nanosecond. Truly we have become a global society. Which your information clearly shows.

  2. 2 jlubke 24 October, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Why don’t you start a blog from the “old geezer’s” perspective? I bet there are already some out there in which you would find a helpful and supportive community.

  3. 3 Verne 24 October, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    I just lost everything I had written down because my mind drifted to the cluster maps below. Any way most of the folks in my gezzer age bracket like to send messages, play games and check their bank accounts, credit scores, look up sports scores, ebay, stuff like that. I don’t think there are too many out there who are “hip” to the wide range of fabulous things you can do on a computer. You are pulling me along and I am enjoying it and learning a lot. (Gary Matthews would be really keen on this information). Any way keep it up and keep me posted. I may not understand it all but I still am very interested in all this new information. I have been having fun noodling with the time zones as I have friends living here and there. Ciao

  4. 4 James 25 October, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Ethnocentrism. Now that is a big word.

  1. 1 The Internet is ageless « ThinkTime Trackback on 24 October, 2007 at 11:09 pm

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Think on this:

"What if we just ignored the status of students in other countries? That wouldn’t be especially neighborly, but at least we wouldn’t be viewing the gains of children in other lands as a troubling development."

Alfie Kohn

"When I hear people say it's our job to create the 21st century workforce, it scares the hell out of me. Our job is to create 21st-century citizens. We need workers, yes, but we also need scholars, activists, parents -- compassionate, engaged people."

Chris Lehmann

Train of thought:

These are the communities where I network and cross-post. Come by for a visit!
Classroom 2.0
School Matters (East TN, USA)
Media Literacy

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