Sunday, February 28, 2010


This is a video presentation titled: ‘ICT-Based Learning and Implications for Assessment” that I gave at the Mednine Higher Institute of Applied Studies in Humanities, University of Gabes, Tunisia in the Spring of 2008.

In this presentation, I propose to discuss the emerging ICT-based learning paradigm based on content management systems, mobile learning, social software, and constructivist learning and to delineate in rough outline the corresponding changes at the level of assessment. I begin with an overview of the features of traditional assessment, which, for the most part, consists in an individually-constructed, paper-based, teacher-oriented, reproductive, archive-destined, word-based, in-class assignment. Then, I argue that ICT-enriched assessment is a collaboratively authored, digitally hosted, public and consumer-oriented, multimedia-rich creation. This creation is subject to updating and involves a geographically dispersed, networked community of contributors. Finally, I focus on the challenges in the face of implementing such changes at the levels of learners, content managers and service providers.
Please address your questions and comments to: araddaoui@gmail.comh

A pair of negative and positive numbers with the same absolute value are plotting to bring down Zero and establish an equation where they both coalesce on an 0-X-Y graphic, despite the distance. They each have their personal reasons for wanting to ditch Zero, but the latter knows knows its value, and is not ruffled by the conspiracy.


Plus Seven and its mirror friend
Below the X line
Spoke by LAN
And hatched a Zero-less plan:
To squeeze the span
Dividing them,
Sandwich the Zero in-between
And banish it in a no-time zone
Until after the end of time.
Plus Seven foresaw
Zero could go
It was, after all, a pedestal
Of Six steps ago
With time passing, she thought
The ladder got firmly glued
Its base only a foot from the bottom
In the event it were to sustain a fall,
There wouldn’t be much to fall
Slide down it would
Or elongate just a little.
Minus Seven
Was mindless of Zero
Treated it as distance
To fold until
It reached Plus Seven above
With no feelings to harbor
Except the thought
Zero was a spatial landmark
In the middle of the path
So Seven Below agreed,
without ill-plan
For zero to be banned…
But Zero was oblivious
He knew, without Him,
No Equations could stand
He tucked Himself to a belt
And hurled it a measure to the left
And blew a spell
On the trail
Where the twain
Were to melt.

Ali H. Raddaoui. Laramie, Wyoming, February 27, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

If you were a traveler on a path some place, and reached a crossroads with bridges that take you back and others that lead into the unknown, you would need to pause and think. Would you then decide to rest before or after bridge crossing? This piece of writing is about journeying and wondering where to go…


I admit I acted wrong
When I sought to journey back
I have flown the orbit
Ten times since dawn broke
And each time
I land upon a new dawn…
I rest a while
To save the debris of the journey
And images of the first sun…
I think I have
All needle sizes
To re-knit the swaddle
Mom had used
To see me grow out of
My four-legged stance
The needle eye shrinks
The thread declines to pass
The swaddle is debris
Of memories
lost in the space of time
consumed by the dust of the earth
And the afternoon sun…
My hands tremble
Out of fear
The rebuilt swaddle wouldn’t fit
…If only I could recapture
Its shape, discoloring,
Texture, smell, and
The holes in it that let
The wind touch my skin…
But the swaddle refuses to shape…
As I stand on land’s end
I admit I acted wrong…
I now see palm roots
Growing from the slope below
Out into the open new dawn
I hold them, smell them,
Rub them against the pupils of my eyes
And grow some
On my own grey matter…
I take some in the satchel of my memories
And prepare to fly.
Ali H. Raddaoui - February 25, 2010 in Laramie, Wyoming.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


A friend of mine has asked me to explain and pronounce some of what I believe are the most common Arabic expressions. Many of these happen to be greetings and words that are on people's lips, more often than not. I like to think about this as an experiment, as I haven't posted video blogs before (though I have made some youtube and googlevideo presentations). And so, if you happen to have comments on how I could improve upon this product, I will be most grateful to you.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

This is a bit of fiction on the diary of a scorpion as she was perfecting her hole. Naturally, as this story was unfolding at this time, there were New Year Resolutions emerging in her cranial cavity. Those resolutions can only ensue from the nature of her tail. Any similarity to scorpions whose stinging is benign or fatal is purely coincidental.


The digging of her hole digs
Went on for days on end…
Ducked under a boulder
From the Rocky Rif Chain
She dug from Christmas
Well into south eastern Milarae
Having excavated stone and clay
She proudly trailed her tail
For over a week and a day
Into the crannies of the hallways
In her new underworld.
Sitting, she put one leg over another
Patted herself on the declivity
Between her legs and the tail
And resolved in the concavity of her brain:
“This is my world, by Golly,
And mine alone!”
She then constructed another hole
At the entrance of the cave…
Covering it with twigs
She nodded her tail:
“This for visitors who dare to venture
Into my private space”.
She then went to the mound
And posted a sign,
“Welcome travelers,
Vacancies inside”.

Ali H. Raddaoui Winter 2010.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This is the story of a person who took a budding plant from a mountain and planted it on his land. After some time, this plant grew into a thistle type plant. Attractive though the flower was, its prickles would cause him injury. He went to see a doctor who explained that it is the nature of the thistle to grow a flower with thorns.

Unlike my Dad
A farmer at heart
I am more into farming thoughts
Fertile is the Crescent
The plains vast
Greenery goes
So far as eye is cast.
I saw a plant budding
On the highlands
And took it to my land
Nurtured it
And sang epics of its land
Till it grew into a fine thistle…
Taken apart
The head was rosy
But the prickles all around
More than hit a nerve of the mind.
I went to see a healer
In a distant land.
Looking at the palm of his hand
He ruled
I was just a cut away
From my wits’ end.
"Man, re-audit logic 110;
You can’t have the rose
And not the thorn.”
Back to my land
I quarantined Self
The thorns
And the land.

Ali H. Raddaoui Laramie, Wyoming. February 6, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sometimes, the vista of options opens up and one finds oneself faced with an exciting array of paths to walk. While we may think of this as a specifically human tendency, it seems to me that the question of how an entity constructs its destiny is on the minds of many, including a stray atom, the subject of this piece.


An atom just out of a cyclotron
After some two score years of supervision
In hopes that she learn
To bend to the admin
Ducked in the stem of a fern
And sat wondering,
‘Boy have I got so many options
I’m not even sure where to begin!
I could on the screen of the moon
Post an ad and find a room.
I could even elect to abscond
With a fellow atom
Chucked out of this hell machine.
Then again, I could seek asylum
In the cyclotron
On the other side of the line.
It’s friendly, I hear, to homeless atoms.
When worst comes to worst,
I could reclaim my position
And simply succumb.
But, hell no!
That’s not for me
Now that I am set free
I don’t give a damn about gravity
Nor will Chaos steer my destiny
I’ll see what I can be
With the electrons around me
Ah, I’ll just take a wink
And let my dreams guide me.

Ali H. Raddaoui
February 5, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This is a hypothetical meeting between two tribe chiefs whose territories are separated by a deep lake that freezes throughout their long winter season. They meet up at dawn to re-enact the special bond that ties them together.


At minus twenty-seven,
They both convened
Each leader of their clan,
And talked that dawn
By the shores of Lake Huyam.
On either side, their dominions lay.
The lake, it straddles
Some quasi-rectangular form
From beginning to end
Except for concavities on either end
And a chasm of
One nautical mile, more or less.
Depth, at its deepest,
Was deeper than bridge
Can hope to span…
Boats freeze,
Shipmasters sleep,
Shrubs yield,
Crows grieve,
The night of day…

They stood and hugged
And their tears ran;
Then each went his own way.

Ali H. Raddaoui. Laramie, on this 2nd day of February, 2010