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 WorldTimeServer.com, 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?
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.