Thomas Robb - The Famous Personages Project

Thomas Robb

The Famous Personages Project

presented at TESOL2006

March 17, 2006

Download mp3

This project features short sketches in English of over 500 famous people in modern Japan. The project was started about 10 years ago and has recently been converted to a Wiki to allow anyone to update the biographies. Information will be supplied on how you can contribute, or start one for another country.
Chat Transcript Below

14:01:38 cbauerramazani: Hi everyone.
14:02:20 Hala_Fawzi: Hello,Christine
14:04:05 JeffLebow:
14:05:04 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Salaam, Buthaina and Hala.
14:05:23 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Bon dia, Bee.
14:05:33 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Hi, Jeff.
14:05:46 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Could you post the URL again, Jeff?
14:06:01 cbauerramazani: Hi everyone!
14:06:12 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Hi, Christine.
14:06:22 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Hi, Sunny.
14:06:47 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Robb-sensei: The "Famous People" project is wonderful. I've seen it and already learned a bit from it!
14:06:58 JeffLebow: Old Site
14:07:00 JeffLebow:
14:07:08 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Thanks, Jeff.
14:07:12 JeffLebow: Wiki Site
14:09:05 TomRobb: :D
14:09:42 TomRobb: Tom and I switched chairs
14:09:58 Dennis_in_Phoenix: I have both the "old page" and the wiki page up now.
14:09:58 TomRobb: CBR, using Tom's username....
14:10:29 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Thanks for both URLs, Jeff.
14:10:32 TomRobb: CBR: We now have one person in the audience here, listening to Tom.
14:10:57 Dennis_in_Phoenix: multiple perspectives from different students!
14:11:39 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Over 500?! Fantastic!
14:13:56 JeffLebow: For Moira - Tom's Wiki site
14:15:24 JeffLebow: Have you considered using wysiwyg options for wikimedia?
14:15:42 Dennis_in_Phoenix: CBR: writing to the wiki and also participating in reformatting it: what a marvelous way of creating "buy-in"!
14:15:50 Moira: Thanks Jeff
14:15:54 JeffLebow: Like wysiwiki or FCKeditor
14:16:08 JeffLebow: How have students dealt with formatting issue?
14:16:20 JeffLebow: Did you have to teach them how to edit?
14:16:27 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Great idea, CBR.
14:16:58 TomRobb: CBR: The ideas are Tom's! I wish I could claim them....
14:17:36 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Sorry I got confused about who is who. I understand now.
14:17:45 JeffLebow: Have you had any problems with people making 'naughty' edits?
14:18:33 Dennis_in_Phoenix: "Naughty" edits: luvit! :)
14:21:27 JeffLebow: any thoughts about using wiki's for curriculum development (i.e. collaborative ESL teaching materials)
14:21:38 Dennis_in_Phoenix: I've noticed that in a number of ELT-focused sites, most people are good at self-monitoring and not using 'English as a Shocking Language.'
14:22:13 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Good idea, Jeff.
14:22:38 JeffLebow: We're working on using wiki's for creating wiki textbooks at
14:22:56 JeffLebow: What do you think of the wiki module in Moodle?
14:23:28 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Students could also participate in curriculum development--with prompts, for example. They could suggest examples, topics, ways of making curriculum meaningful and real-life-oriented.
14:24:54 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Thanks for the wiki textbook link, Jeff.
14:25:54 Dennis_in_Phoenix: My pleasure, Tom.
14:26:34 JeffLebow: How much have you been able to integrate multimedia (photos, audio, video) into your wiki?
14:26:41 Dennis_in_Phoenix: I participated with some of my students in an international blog--students in Arizona and students in Brasilia, Brazil.
14:27:17 Dennis_in_Phoenix: What a fantastic idea (Google Earth with how to walk around)!
14:27:53 JeffLebow:
14:27:56 Moira: confused
14:28:03 Moira: ah thanks Jeff
14:28:32 Dennis_in_Phoenix: I'm using a Mac, Tom, and I've not had any problems.
14:29:09 TomRobb: tom doesn't have any pictures with the MAC; I do! I'm a PC USER.
14:29:23 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Ah, I see, Christine!
14:30:15 buthaina: Hi, again
14:30:25 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Marhaba, my friend.
14:30:47 buthaina: Ahlaina, Sadeqi alaziz
14:30:57 Dennis_in_Phoenix: :)
14:31:09 buthaina: Wa Shukran ala kul Shay
14:31:25 Dennis_in_Phoenix: :)
14:31:52 buthaina: Shoosh said she's coming here, she's trying now
14:32:09 Dennis_in_Phoenix: I hope she makes it here! Insh'allah, she will!
14:32:16 buthaina: Is this the Tom Rob?
14:32:39 TomRobb: Yes, Buth.
14:32:44 JeffLebow: For newcomers - link to Tom's Wiki
14:32:44 Dennis_in_Phoenix: For some reason, my connection was terminated, but I'm back.
14:32:45 TomRobb: THE Tom Robb!
14:33:10 buthaina: Hi, and congratulations, Tom. Loved to be in person to say that, in Tampa..But glad we're doing it virtually. :)
14:34:37 Dennis_in_Phoenix: I use mp3 files for "pronunciation dictations" focusing on "relaxed speech."
14:34:42 buthaina: Can we join your Wiki, Tom?
14:34:44 buthaina: Hi :)
14:34:53 buthaina: :D
14:35:07 buthaina: Thaks to Wrldbridges
14:35:10 buthaina: Hahahah
14:35:20 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Congratulations from me, too, Robb-sensei!
14:35:38 JeffLebow: Would anyone like to skype in and speak with Tom?
14:35:45 Dennis_in_Phoenix: And to you as well, Christine.
14:35:52 buthaina: And can we join youir wiki, tom?
14:36:17 buthaina: Ok, yes..
14:36:19 buthaina: good idea
14:36:32 JeffLebow: skype 'worldbridges' to chime in
14:36:36 buthaina: Right, right, right..Yes, wonderful.
14:36:56 Dennis_in_Phoenix: I have a lot of Spanish-speaking students--mostly from Mexico. Maybe a "Famous Hispanic People"?
14:37:08 buthaina: Will, start that, Tom from your Wiki, is this ok?
14:37:11 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Do itashimashite, Robb-sensei.
14:38:23 Moira: Thank you Tom
14:38:32 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Thanks, Christine and Tom. This was very informative--and inspirational!
14:38:42 buthaina: Thank you, Christine, Tom, and Jeff..
14:38:53 Dennis_in_Phoenix: It was wonderful to be here, Christine.
14:38:59 Dennis_in_Phoenix: Thanks for everything, Jeff.

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